15 stupid questions you’ll be asked at a job interview

Published: October 23, 2010
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Searching for jobs means sitting through a lot of interviews.

Yesterday, I went for an interview at a software company, as I had applied for the position of a full-time writer.

I was quite happy. I was supposed to reach the place at 3pm and I arrived at 2.45pm.

The interview started and went on for about twenty minutes. This was not my first interview. I have been interviewed at several places.

As the panel continues to ask me moronic question after moronic question, an idea for a blog post began to form in my mind.  I tried to make a list of the fifteen most stupid questions that interviewers ask you. The list could go up to thirty questions, but ET might not take such a lengthy blog, so I am sticking to fifteen.

I am sure I can expect many emails and angry responses from HR recruitment people after this post.

Q1: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Do you know where your company will be in five years? Sorry, I didn’t know that you were looking to hire an astrologer.

Q2.  Describe yourself in three words.

Why do you want a three-word description? If I say I am bold, smart and beautiful, will you be happy with that? Which three words do you want to hear–hard working, motivated and intelligent? You’ve gone through my resume, but still insist on asking me to describe myself. Just read the document carefully and you might find your answer there.

Q3. Are you ready to work overtime?

If you advertised your timings to be 9-5, don’t suddenly change your mind. If I say yes, it wouldn’t make any sense, and if I say no, I will be considered lazy. Are you ready to pay me for overtime?

Q4. What is your biggest weakness/worst quality?

Oh my God! Shall I really tell you my biggest weakness? Ice cream is my biggest weakness. Mobilink asked my brother the same question, after assuring him they wouldn’t share the information with anybody else. Are you guys making a database of candidates’ weaknesses? What if something I consider a strength looks like a weakness to someone else? If I say I’m a workaholic, it’s strength to me, but a weakness to others. Do people really discuss their weaknesses in public?

Q5. Can you manage to work in teams and groups?

My resume states very clearly that my skills include leadership ability, conflict resolution and team management skills. Didn’t you read it? Secondly, what if I am asked to work with a group of lazy dudes who don’t even bother to work much? It depends on the team. Anyway, were politicians ever asked about their leadership skills?

Q6. What are your salary expectations?

I applied for this job after reading about the salary you advertised. Are you trying to avoid paying that amount by asking me that? Anyway, my salary expectation is Rs200,000. Thank you so much for caring about me.

Q7. Do you mind if I call your previous employers?

Either I voluntarily left my job, or I got fired. Neither situation could have made my employers happy. Which ex-boss is going to speak highly of me?

Q8. What did you do in your last job?

I was hired as a plumber by the previous company after I finished my MBA.

Q9. Why shall we hire you?

So that I can steal your office equipment and break the office furniture.

Q10. Are you married, divorced, separated, or single?

This question annoys most female candidates. I’ve heard friends complaining about it too. Why are you interested in knowing my marital status? I am not a contestant for Miss World, for which I’d need to be single.

Q11. Who are you living with these days?

In Pakistan, where girls live with their families, this question doesn’t make any sense. I am living with my pets.

Q12. What do your co-workers say about you?

Some people suggested that I should dye my hair. Others said that I should use a glossy lipstick with thick eye liner.

Q13. What are your expectations from this job?

That I shouldn’t have to come to work on time. I also expect diet drinks and low calorie food for lunch. Also, I want an AC in my own room.

Q14. Why do you want to work for us?

I want it because I have to buy new clothes and cell phone.

Q15. Why are you leaving your current job?

Because I love giving job interviews.

Sadaf Fayyaz

Sadaf Fayyaz

A freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and writer's take on life, culture, media and everything else.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Palwasha.

    Hahahaha! Classic.Recommend

  • parvez

    A wacky enjoyable read. Your a natural with a bit of an attitude – really good.Recommend

  • Salma

    Great Artical.Recommend

  • Tahir

    Nice one! :)Recommend

  • maheen usmani

    Hilarious blog, Sadaf. You are so right.. Recommend

  • Ahsen Lodhi

    excellent.. same situations i have faced in my three interviews in my whole life.. the most stupid i think…

    one more you missed by the way is “why we should hire you?” :)Recommend

  • Jamil

    Great. just plain great. love you for this blog. mind if I add one also: Question: Why do you think you are better qualified for this job as compare to other apllicants? hehehe Answer: because nobody is a better kicker than me to kick your stupid asses to high heavens.Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com/ The Only Normal Person Here.

    hahahhaahaha… Good one.

    By the way… did you get the job?Recommend

  • Faiza Javed

    too good!!!
    one would be affirmative if this all happens in one’s life…
    bunch of universal stupid questionsRecommend

  • Salim Akhter

    Good Work Sadaf. good Answer’s Specially 4,6 & 7
    These are frequently asked questions and everyone bond to reply these silly questions.Recommend

  • http://abbasiworld.blogspot.com Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi

    In my experience of work I have seen these questions asked and I have answered them myself. Some of these are very important since they help in building a series of questions to understand the position.
    Q1 tells us the candidate’s ambition and we compare it with the resume. If there is a link, means he/she has the sense to stay true to what was expressed in CV and not lie about it. Another couple of questions about it clarifies the whole mindset of the candidate.
    Q4 simply tests candidates truthfulness. Sometimes candidate’s body language tells us what kind of person he/she is and asking this question gives an insight to the mindset. If the candidate is avoids it or try to deceive the interviewer, he is hired ONLY if the company is desperately in need of workforce or his/her particular skills.
    Q5 is to judge how well the candidate is able to express his/her leadership quality. 8 out of 10 resumes have Leadership Quality as one of their top traits, either Pakistan is self-sufficient in leaders or imposers is anyone’s guess. If you are leader and have the ability, you should be able to articulate it well too because team work needs clear communication and solid decision making ability.
    Q6 Salary expectation is actually the bait. Some very skilled people either don’t know their value or try to sell themselves short. Some end up over-valuing themselves and attempt to promise what they can’t deliver. Salary expectations simply tells how much a skilled candidate is willing to work for a good pay and there is nothing more surprising for the interviewer than the candidate asking “Is your job interesting/good enough for me to leave my current job and work for you even on lesser pay?”
    Q8 Tells us your most current/active skills and most recent experience. In Pakistan we usually go for multi-skilled candidates and a person who can handle a lot more than someone who specializes in a single trait only is more preferred.
    Everything else is, in majority cases, the interviewer’s interest in the candidate so, ehm, answer with caution :)Recommend

  • Jamil

    @The Only Normal Person Here.:
    yup, no more question as (s) k (ick) edRecommend

  • Jamil

    @Wasio Ali Khan Abbasi:
    Sir with all due respects, we usually go there prepared for these questions.Recommend

  • http://www.mustafaphotog.com mustafa

    sadaf,the questions that you have chosen are def. facts, but this is also reality that most candidates dare not give such answers, since most of them fear on losing the oppurtunity.Recommend

  • Mohammad Hammad

    very well.
    Interesting Questions And their Weird Answers….:)))
    well said Sadaf Fayyaz…:)Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/ahadkhan Abdul Ahad Khan

    Cool article! Reminds me of my med-school interview…. Though you’d be surprised to know that most of the questions mentioned here are actually pretty run of the mill throughout the world….Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/143/taha-kerar/ Taha Kehar

    Good work! Although, I would have to admit that these are very difficult questions to answer. Recommend

  • Anon

    These by no means are idiotic questions, gladly it is a Saturday, and I have enough time on my hands to tell you why, this blog was a waste of time for you to write.

    ‘I am sure many emails and angry responses will come from HR recruitment people.’

    And just to let you know, I am in no way shape, size or form related to the field of HR and or recruitment, but I have given enough interviews and spoken to enough HR managers and consultants (Including the one’s in my dad’s company) as to why they ask some of these questions.

    Lets begin.

    1) Where do you see yourself in five years?

    No body for surely knows where what is going to be in a 5 years time, and before you forget, YOU are the one looking for a job with their company, and the question has been asked from you regarding YOURSELF, It has nothing to do with astrology, what it has to do with is your personal goal setting and target setting (since every job in one way or the other involves goals and targets) they want to see if you set targets for yourself? A good answer usually constitutes with an example of your past 5 years, and your goals in the past 5 years and if you achieved them all, some, or none with their relevant examples.

    2) Describe yourself in three words.

    They don’t care if you look nice, or are fat or so on, they want to know how self aware you are, what are the strongest words that you can describe yourself with? of course each word is followed with why you think that word describes you.

    3) Are you ready to work overtime?

    They never changed their mind’s, it’s a simple question, CAN you work overtime? if no, and you have relevant reasons, then they are not taken against you, if you can, then surely you will get paid overtime (of-course that depends on your own skills and the company you are being interviewed by), so there is no right and wrong answer, it depends ont he individuals circumstances and it tells the interviewee if your skills can be fully utilized. If they changed their minds, the question would have been ”You HAVE to work overtime in this job”, I as a person don’t mind overtime, the pay’s better, and it’s better than sitting at home watching tv..

    4) What is your biggest weakness/worst quality?

    Ice-Cream isn’t supposed to be a weakness.. unless you’ve gone to enrol yourself in Kindergarten.. You’re there for a job, they want to know what is your weakness, they are not looking for poor sarcasm, a great answer constitutes a weakness that you might have that you have A) either tried to better yourself on, or B) a weakness that would NOT be viewed as a weakness in their eyes. A good answer would indicate to the employer that you improve yourself overtime and you tend to learn and improve processes, rather than repeat the same mistakes. A good answer can be, that you consider yourself to be a perfectionist, everything has to be perfect for it to be please-able to you, essentially a weakness to YOU, but not necessarily to the employer (if the job involves an eye for detail)

    5) Can you manage to work in teams and groups?

    He/She does not care what a piece of paper says (that he probably hovered over for 15 seconds, the average time a recruitment manager looks at a CV for), and even if they read the whole thing, you cannot actually justify ‘working in teams’ and ‘group work’ in a CV, and for all he know’s it’s all copy pasted, you’re sitting in front of him, he want’s to know if you can work in groups, if you can, well a justification of how and why you think so is deemed necessary..(Which is NOT found in as much detail or not at all in page where you have to summarise your life’s work, a CV)

    6) What are your salary expectations?

    Again, they want to see YOUR expectations, a job is NOT advertised as ‘WE WILL GIVE YOU 200K’, it depends upon your skills.. they want to see how much you believe in yourself, what your last salary was.. if it was 100k, how can you justify that you want 200k now?

    7) Do you mind if I call your previous employers?

    Unless you were truly a poor employee always texting from your phone or whatever, while you should have been working, no employer will speak wrongly of you, if you had a good working relationship with your manager/boss, they will be glad to see you excel in life, so unless you were a poor employee a simple NO would suffice, if you were fired, this would be a good time to tell the employer why and what happened.

    8) What did you do in your last job?

    I don’t see why you’ve made fun of this question, it actually is MORE relevant than all the other question’s asked.. not all MBA’s do the same job, and not all MBA’s are alike, and not all MBA positions are the same, a good answer would be to compare the similarities between the two job’s (the one you applied for and the one you left) so that they know, you need minimal training.. Jeez.. no wonder people are jobless in Pakistan.. after an MBA they think they have taken over the world.. you’re applying for a position (that has been applied for by possibly 400 other people, many bound to be better than you) you’re not applying for a CFO’s position or something, you’ll just be another tiny speck (probably somewhere way down in the food chain) in the company.

    9) Why shall we hire you?

    Simple question, what set’s you apart from the rest of the people that applied for the job? If you can’t answer that.. you don’t deserve to be on anyone’s payroll.. Period. You forget.. you are looking for a job, it’s not the other way round..

    10) Are you married, divorced, separated, or single?

    It is an excellent question that gives an employer an insight of how much commitment you can give to the job, single people will be more committed to their work, since there is no commitment to a wife or a child.. There is nothing to be offended by this question.. the employer isn’t psychic, unless he asks, how will he/she know?

    11) Who are you living with these days?

    They want to know about the kind of environment you are living in.. a negative environment will have a negative influence on a job, and positive environment will have a positive effect in your work.

    12) What do your co-workers say about you?

    The question clearly says what your co-workers say about you as a person and an employee.. not ‘What do your co-workers want you to look like’ , are you a pleasant person to work with? I highly doubt it..

    13) What are your expectations from this job?

    What kind of work environment are you looking for? what are you looking for in a boss, what kind’s of flexibilities would you prefer them to have.. and so on..

    14) Why do you want to work for us?

    ”I want it because I have to buy new clothes and cell phone.”

    If that’s your reason for working with them.. then by all means.. let them know.. honesty is the best policy, but also show them that you know about the firm, apart from the money factor, why did you apply to work for the said company?

    15) Why are you leaving your current job?

    In your case.. I would tell the truth… and say ‘I was fired’..

    Seriously.. I mean seriously.. you lack some serious common sense.

    I did not mean to offend you, but when YOU are looking for a job, you are being interviewed by someone who has more experience than you, not the other way round, lower your expectations just because you have done an MBA (A million others do it every year) rather.. I would say work more towards your interpersonal skills.

    Quite possible the longest comment I have ever written.. Yes.. I was bored.

    Comments, Criticisms, Dis-agreements more than welcome.
    I am sorry for any grammatical, literary or punctuational errors, too long for me to proof read it again.
    Recommend

  • Mohsin Hijazee

    Haha. Such answers are better in post recession eras. Recommend

  • Asad Ali

    Haha, enjoyed reading the odd answers (thumbs up for Answer # 8).Although I dont agree that all the questions are just moronic but yes most of them are. I am not an HR guy but in my opinion there are some reasons for asking questions which at first looks moronic. They might be asked to assess your communication skills, confidence etc, they might be asked to check if your cv is in line with what you say (you know the copy/paste culture) and they might be asked to for a genuine reasons for example contacting the previous employers, usually in Pakistan companies dont ask for NOC’s from previous emplpoyers, but its common outside, so contacting your previous employer is kind of an NOC for getting an assurance that the employee they are hiring doesnt have a bad record. Question of marital status is also important, married with children may not be able to give time which is expected from them…

    Thanks for the laugh :)..Recommend

  • sheraz khan

    LOLQ8. What did you do in your last job?; Ans. I was hired as a plumber by the previous company after I finished my MBA.…this is EPIC :DRecommend

  • http://baithak.blogspot.com/ temporal

    heheh

    thanks for my morning smile sada

    and

    good luck for the huntRecommend

  • ayesha jehangir

    awesome! could stop saying “so trueee…so truee” on each of the questions…but i loved the 14th one..lollllllRecommend

  • USL

    Thank you “Anon”. Really :)Recommend

  • Imran

    Spot on!Recommend

  • Fazeel

    Umm there are all behavioral questions. In which employers try to understand the potential and IQ of the candidate. I thought Q10 and Q11 are odd but the other question were legitimate. I should recommend you a book name “Got’em dead” where the author thoroughly explained the interview process. Please read the book may be you will get lucky next time:-) and thumbs up for the anon for the above post. I totally agree with you.Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    and most of you would be SHOCked to know that some of these questions are ILLEGAL to ask…………not only stupid and unethical……………..Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/nazansari Nazia Mohammed

    You have very nicely expressed the feelings of interviewees
    Keep going! Good one. X)Recommend

  • Anon

    @SadafFayyaz:

    Please elaborate, when you say that some of these questions are ‘illegal’ to ask, and what makes you say that they are stupid and unethical?

    As far as my knowledge goes, It is only illegal to ask someone their marital status, questions regarding disabilities, religion, caste, age.. (During an interview) other than that I see no question, that can can sensed at illegal.

    And might I add that the only reason that these questions are illegal is that and interviewer is not supposed to judge someone on these, which is why 13 out of the 15 questions in question here are competency based questions, which is what you’re supposed to be judged on.

    The 2 which were illegal are Q10 and Q11, other than that if I have missed something, please feel free to let me know and correct me if I am wrong.

    But you have to disclose pretty much all of this information once you have been offered a job.Recommend

  • Samrah

    @Anon:
    Thank God you took the time to write a detailed comment about the questions/answers in this post. The post was totally idiotic and people who keep making fun of these questions and commenting on the post saying it’s funny and blah blah probably never get these questions right themselves. I am an HR person and i wish people would do some research before coming in for an interview and not give me dumb answers when i want to know where they woud like to see themselves in 5 years or their strengeths/weakness etc.Recommend

  • Anon

    @USL:
    You’re welcome.Recommend

  • Omar

    awesome!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    I said some of them are Illegal……..the rest are stupid…….dont make sense……..

    Are you able to work overtime, evenings and weekends?
    How do you feel about attending conferences with (men) (women) ?
    What child care arrangements have you made?
    What type of position does your spouse have?
    Do you think that you can supervise (men) (women), and how do you think they will react?
    This job has always been handled by a (female) (male). Do you think you can handle it?
    Are you willing to put career interests before self-interests?
    What are your computer skills? Would you be interested in doing some word processing?
    How do you feel about women’s liberation?
    By the way, would you mind telling me: “Just how old are you?”
    How do you respond to authority?
    How do you define sexual harassment?
    Where were you born?
    What’s your nationality?
    Are you married, divorced, separated, or single?
    Are you living with anyone?
    What holidays do you celebrate?
    Do you have any disabilities that affect your work?
    What is your health situation like?
    Have you ever been arrested?
    Are you on any medications?
    Do you ever abuse alcohol or drugs?
    How many children do you have?
    What church do you attend?
    How do you think my older employees would react if I hired you?
    Do you have many debts?
    Do you own or rent your home?
    How much insurance do you have?
    How much do you weigh?
    Do you plan to have any more children?
    What does your spouse think about your career?
    Have you ever brought a law suit against an employer?
    Have you ever filed for workers’ comp?
    Where do you usually go on vacation?
    What do you think about romance in the office?
    Have you ever been sexually harassed?
    Do you have plans to get married?
    Tell me about your family.
    all illegal ones………3,4 10 and 11……..are illegal………some forces define 4 as illegal too…asking for weakness? No way…….
    Recommend

  • Julia

    I think everyone needs to relax. This was a fun post. Also, as someone who both takes interviews and gives them – i think these questions are pretty silly. Why not ask
    1) what is your favorite thing about working in this field?
    2) What did you learn in your last job?
    3) What do you expect from this position?

    Also – I think the 5 year question is cliched but valid – does the person have ambition or not?

    or more importantly:
    4 Do you think you have what it takes?Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    @samrah why dont you HR people do some research and ask the candidate right questions? instead of asking some DUMB questions……..huh………Can you raise your standards and style? and come out of this idiotic style of questionsing people? Where would you be after 5 years? You HR people ask me what is an ET blog? what is koolmuzone? what is this and that? Can you guys do some little research on the candidate if he or she is a bit famous too? I dont mind the PISTOLS from HR Morons………this is how you people misuse your corporate power……………Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    @Julia………..exactly………Yours are .better and intelligent questions, that define a person objectively………I can design them some questions if I have to judge a candidate for HR PEOPLE>>>>>>>>………Recommend

  • Anon

    @SadafFayyaz:
    I did not mean to come off as rude by any means, we are both here to share our opinions, but seriously, if some one has a hard time answering or feels offended by answering a simple question such as what are your weaknesses, that person does not know him/herself at all, none of the questions mentioned in the main post should be taken as unethical (apart from 10 or 11, although I still reserve my judgement on 10, tells you a-lot more about the person).

    The other list of questions you posted has nothing to do with the questions posed in the main article to which you referred to as illegal, having worked in the UK and travelled through mainland Europe I have yet to come through anyone asking me questions about my weight and such.. and if you do get asked questions like that, I would seriously suggest you look for a job in a better place (Unless of course you’re trying to work in a warehouse). I have been posed with the marital status question many a times, and never found it offensive (maybe because I am not married?), or maybe women feel differently when posed with this question, I don’t know, I am not a recruitment consultant.

    And I’ll say this again, and again, and again, the questions you refer to as idiotic and dumb, have been asked to me in many fortune 500 companies, and like I said, you are expecting WAY too much from the positions you are applying for, no offence meant. Maybe some of the questions at the places you apply for work in Pakistan ask very simplistic questions, but none the less, if it ends up telling the Interviewee about your skills, then what is the problem with that?

    I was asked Q4 at Barclay’s Wealth, please cite me to a reputable source, so that I may sue them and maybe retire for life. : )

    And I get a feeling you think way too highly of yourself, not necessarily your fault (It’s Pakistani genetics at play), but if you have a problem answering basic questions about yourself, and don’t necessarily know your strengths and weaknesses, how can you expect someone to hire you?

    Maybe it’s because I started working from a young age, but I seriously find your logic flawed.

    And apologies if I said anything that might be deemed as offensive by you.Recommend

  • Alina

    @Sadaf I have always found your post fun to read and at the same time they have a message to give. For this post i would like to say that from a light post’s angle your blog was a fun read. However, this is how things are in Pakistan. A Telenor HR person once revealed that they get 100s of resumes everyday and can’t go through all of them in detail. The same sentiments came from SCB’s recruitment officer. If they ask you things that are already in your resume, at times it’s to check whether your resume is just about bragging or are you in fact all that you have mentioned.
    @Anon wow! Not being an HR person and still such understanding of interview tools is very impressive. Thanks for these details. I’m sure a lot of us can use them for our future interviews.Recommend

  • http://www.umairhassan.com Umair Hassan

    what the hell is this………none of ur points make sense….and all you people who are liking it are crazy too……

    1) where do you see urself in 5 years. This questions is not about thinking and making a prediction of ur life. The purpose of this question is to know your aims and plans for future. Now if you don’t have any plans and you have no goals in life then it doesn’t mean that the question is stupid, it means that you are stupid !

    2) If they had to judge you looking at your documents and CV then what the hell was the interview for? If you cant describe urself in three words then you’re not worth it.

    3) if they are asking whthr you can work overtime or not, it doesnt really mean that you will have to work overtime. Its just to check your dedication towards ur work.

    4) As for telling weaknesses. Trust me they dont want to know that icecream is your weakness. A weakness could be that you are over friendly with your colleagues or may be you dont manage your time properly but you always end it by saying that you are working on it and trying to overcome.

    5) again………..there is no rule saying that if things are written in ur CV then they cant ask you. What is the purpose of interview if everything is there in ur CV? and you need to know how to deal with a situation where your team mates are lazy koz tht happens everywhere and this is exactly what they are trying to ask you. If you dont even know the meaning of the question then how would you know how to handle the situation :)

    6) If they have advertised the salary amount, they wouldnt ask you this question (if they did, then thats a wrong question for sure), however, if they didnt advertise it, they only want to know whether your expectations of salary are upto their budget or not. They shortlist candidates according to that, just so you know. So, next time don’t say you want Rs. 200,000

    7) Well if you left your previous job with good terms then they would never talk wrong abt you. It depends on how you left your previous job. Everything counts !

    8) well if you were hired as a plumber after doing MBA, this certainly doesnt sound good. You should not include this experience in your CV.

    9) Well i dont think i should even answer this question. Its just stupid what you wrote !

    10) They want to know ur marital status koz after marriage female employees have issues with working in different circumstances and then also companies have to take into account the maternity leaves and other aspects related to it. If you dont have such problems then just say it.

    now i know that there are 5 more questions with your stupid answers that i have to respond to but its getting literally impossible for me to digest your views and statements. If you think that they shouldn’t ask you these questions as everything is written in your CV then why are you even going for interview? You should say it on the phone that you have provided all details in your CV and that there is no need for any interview. Trust me they wont call you after that !

    I’ve read your previous blogs and I used to like your views and approach but this blog has definitely put all you previous efforts to go down the drain. This is absolutely ridiculous !Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Shakir

    hahahaha….that’s really true……i think interviewers get revenge of the same that had happened to them during job search…..lolz……i have given such an interview in which the interviewer had noted own questions in his note book and he was asking me……i was trying to cut my smile….hehehehRecommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com/ Shumaila

    I agree with what Alina said. Recommend

  • Bronze

    Lol Sadaf…That was really hillarious.Recommend

  • http://strangerinkorea.blogspot.com Naveed Ahmed

    HAHAHAHAHA………………well said because me too had gone through this phase and sometimes the questions were really stupid………..but some of my interviewers were very good and asked questions which were really required…………….I am really thankful to you for this postRecommend

  • IZ

    I think this video best illustrates how to act in a job interview:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo-_Y4aL1uo&feature=channelRecommend

  • ZZ

    Cant see commentsRecommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    They can ask better questions……………….I know very well what THE IDEA is behind such questions………..but better designing and methodology…………would make it better…….Ghissey pittey sawal,,,,,,,,,,,,,,they should come out of them……….Recommend

  • Malik M. Usman

    This is totally true and an extremely funny analysis of this crappy interview thingy! ;) Keep it up Sadaf Fayyaz.. Recommend

  • Saad

    Neat.. :)Recommend

  • Syed Waqar Ali

    Slick,,,,,,,Recommend

  • umar

    very nicely written article… I also feel the same about these questions.. and i am unable to understand , how questions like these help the employers to judge us :pRecommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Enjoyed the video posted by IZ……………lollzzzRecommend

  • Arsalaan Haleem

    LOL! I loved the last two questions.Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    I’m an HR manager, I don’t ask all of those Questions lolRecommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    @Deen……….instead of asking a person……..”are you able to work in teams…..” and HR guy asked my brother…..”Its Friday time….lets offer our prayers in mosque aur yahi parh lein…” he wanted to judge as if he was able to work and stand with team people…..intelligent question to judge a person;s ability to work in teams…Plus he wanted to know if he were a Mullah kind or not……….I am happy to see some intelligent HR guys like you………Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Amazing!Recommend

  • Sher Afgun Khan

    Very well written and a good account of what questions are asked in an interview at Pakistani organizations. I think the problem lies in the perception of HR as a vital organizational function. Secondly, the interviewers don’t prepare for interviewing. Interviews should be job-specific and structured to bring out the qualities that employers are looking for. The kind of open-ended questions that you’ve mentioned don’t reveal anything. HR people need to be trained in the art of interviewing and they need to understand the JDs and JRs of jobs that they are interviewing for. It is an area that needs attention and must be taken seriously.Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    @Sher afgan……….yes………take out and assess a candidate’s mind……..taking things out of his mind in an interview…and the biggest advantage that he or she can give to the organization..questions must focus on this………thats the best HR person…………the questions above, even if someone lies to you, what can be done? Recommend

  • Tauseef

    Few more questions I experienced

    What is education of your father, Mother and Brothers/Sisters?
    How old is your Father?
    What is the profession of your father?

    These are obviously not relevant .. I am there to get a job not my family members….Recommend

  • RhyMe

    lol funny!!! also shows ur annoyance to these typical set of questions ur often confronted with!Recommend

  • http://www.amcy5.com Samiullah

    Very nice article, I have read this article at http://www.amcy5.comRecommend

  • kashf shah
  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    @Tauseef………are u kidding? Extremely pathetic ones………I rem went through the same for BCs after test interview at Islamic uni…….How much your father earns? would you be able to pay the semester fees? :PRecommend

  • farhan

    what did you say your age was 10yrs , grow up Recommend

  • bushra

    hahaha… questions were stupid but answers were superb:PRecommend

  • FAROOQ AHMED

    It doesnt seems to me logical any of your answers mam you need to work on your interpersonell skills and this foolish confidence and boldness can devastiate your career be calm and cool if you want to be professional other wise Allah he hafiz ha tera wish you best of luck in your job hunt as you will definetly be rejected in that company. Recommend

  • Zaheer Raza

    You have very nicely expressed the feelings of intervieweesRecommend

  • Deen

    @ Sadaf Fayyaz

    Thank you for your imput, there are some of those Questions I do, while I avoid some one. Some I agree with you are a bit personal and should be avoided. Questions like the kind your brother was asked in an interview, I would never go about testing the religiousness of an individual, but had there been some one else an HR manager instead of my company, that Question would have popped up. I am the only non practising employee in the entire company, lol, imagine the scrutiny it brings me. Questions I do like to ask, which may or may not be appropriate include, why you want to work for us, to get an idea from the applicant or an understanding from their perspective why they want to leave their current employment. For example Ive interviewed people working in Multinationals as well,so at times its tempting to ask, why they want to leave that job. At times many applicants just dont like the idea of being a small fish in a big pond, or for example people working in marketing get fed up of working in Insurance or Pharma because too much personal selling involved and they want to move to consumer goods. I also ask, this is in the case of female applicants whether they will be working post marriage or whether their family is dependant on their income. Reason for that is, as an HR manager, personally speaking, it takes a great deal of effort inducting a new recruit, familiarising them with organisational culture, and teaching them how things work. All of a sudden, they get married, their susraal’s dont work them working, they leave an d all that hard work goes to waste. As far as income dependency is concerned, if I have 2 equally qualified applicants for a vacancy, I would give preference to an individual male or female, who plays a substantial role in the overall family income, whose income contributes to running the house. And other questions are asked by me and the individual department heads who conduct the second rounds, to assess whether the applicant is the kind that would stick around, employee turn over is a genuine problem affecting medium sized companies for only financial reasons, we dont want to let me put it again, hire some one, train that person 6 months, next day they get a job from Engro or GSK and they walk out. I am not training the person to be MNC ready now am i, and neither do I want to be responsible for my company being waiting lounge at the airport for transit employees, who just want to kill time their next flight/opportunity.Recommend

  • Deen

    The following is something I wrote on my personal Blog Age, call it an anxiety that comes with the territory of being of an HR manager, I thought I should share it with readers here, since this is not too entirely you know divergent from the topic discussed on hand….

    10 Things All prospective Employees Should AVOID!!!!!!!!!!

    **1. Only send in your application, if you meet the required criteria in terms of qualifications, work experience, age etc.

    I can not stress this enough, Only and only send in their application, if their criteria meets the required criteria in terms of qualifications, work experience, age etc. When a vacancy is usually advertised HR managers get hundreds if not thousands of applications, most of them not meeting the criteria, so show some common courtesy and spare the HR manager some hassle.
    Do not send emails to the Human Resource Manager just randomly asking the HR manager to go through your qualifications and assign you to an appropriate position in the organisation.
    Come well prepared to an interview, expect even the most unexpected question, questions can range from the job that they have employed for to what lessons has the applicant learnt in life to personal hobbies. HR managers like to determine whether the applicant’s personality is in compatibility with others in the organisation.
    Leave a good first impression in the interview, good first impressions make it very difficult for the human resource manager not to want to recruit the potential candidate. Dress should be neat and clean, well ironed. The Body language needs to be positive as well.
    Do not give off the needy impression in the interview, that you desperately need the job that they are offering, or you are just desperate to leave your current organisation. This gives off the impression that the candidate is the kind who is not to motivated enough for the position or one who either has trouble adjusting at work, or is simply the kind that likes to move around.
    Try to prove to the individual (s) recruiting you how you stand out from other applicants, if one is able to differentiate themselves, it can set them apart from the huge clutter of applicants. At the same time, avoid acting over confident, and strictly avoid bragging about why you are so great.Just Being a foreign graduate is not a criteria sufficient enough to make the applicant perfect for the post. Also give off the impression that you are committed to staying long term, and your interest in the company is not transitional.
    Only provide reference and academic documentation, if asked by the human resource manager or potential employer, last thing the HR manager needs is a big pile of paper on his or her desk.
    If the HR manager extends you the courtesy of giving you their personal business card which has their direct line number, avoid contacting them on their direct line, recommended ringing them through the office operator. Applicants can adversely affect their chances of a career at the organisation if they reach the HR manager at a bad time and is buried under a pile of work.
    If the Human Resource department takes a long period of time in getting back to you, it could stem from a lot of reasons, including termination of the human resource manager or a sudden hiring freeze due to declining profits, so no need to panic. If they do not call, just stay positive and keep applying pro actively till something turns up. They say good things come to those that wait.**
    Recommend

  • Deen

    Ten Things All Prospective Applicants/Employees should strictly Avoid

    Only send in your application, if you meet the required criteria in terms of qualifications, work experience, age etc.
    I can not stress this enough, Only and only send in their application, if their criteria meets the required criteria in terms of qualifications, work experience, age etc. When a vacancy is usually advertised HR managers get hundreds if not thousands of applications, most of them not meeting the criteria, so show some common courtesy and spare the HR manager some hassle.
    Do not send emails to the Human Resource Manager just randomly asking the HR manager to go through your qualifications and assign you to an appropriate position in the organisation.
    Come well prepared to an interview, expect even the most unexpected question, questions can range from the job that they have employed for to what lessons has the applicant learnt in life to personal hobbies. HR managers like to determine whether the applicant’s personality is in compatibility with others in the organisation.
    Leave a good first impression in the interview, good first impressions make it very difficult for the human resource manager not to want to recruit the potential candidate. Dress should be neat and clean, well ironed. The Body language needs to be positive as well.
    Do not give off the needy impression in the interview, that you desperately need the job that they are offering, or you are just desperate to leave your current organisation. This gives off the impression that the candidate is the kind who is not to motivated enough for the position or one who either has trouble adjusting at work, or is simply the kind that likes to move around.
    Try to prove to the individual (s) recruiting you how you stand out from other applicants, if one is able to differentiate themselves, it can set them apart from the huge clutter of applicants. At the same time, avoid acting over confident, and strictly avoid bragging about why you are so great.Just Being a foreign graduate is not a criteria sufficient enough to make the applicant perfect for the post.
    Only provide reference and academic documentation, if asked by the human resource manager or potential employer, last thing the HR manager needs is a big pile of paper on his or her desk.
    If the HR manager extends you the courtesy of giving you their personal business card which has their direct line number, avoid contacting them on their direct line, recommended ringing them through the office operator. Applicants can adversely affect their chances of a career at the organisation if they reach the HR manager at a bad time and is buried under a pile of work.
    If the Human Resource department takes a long period of time in getting back to you, it could stem from a lot of reasons, including termination of the human resource manager or a sudden hiring freeze due to declining profits, so no need to panic. If they do not call, just stay positive and keep applying pro actively till something turns up. They say good things come to those that wait.
    Recommend

  • Ahmad Mujtaba Malik

    hm the best article and one question more missing

    what can do for us?Recommend

  • Tauseef

    @SadafFayyaz: not kidding man :) it is fact. By the way Sadaf really expressed the feelings of candidates. Well Done Sadaf…. Recommend

  • Fahad Hashmat

    Fun Post and nicely written. Read and enjoy the article – I believe Sadaf has pointed out the answers which normally come into your mind the moment a question is asked – not to say that they are good/bad or useless.

    Like the question “where do you see yourself in five years?” and when I was asked this question, in my mind, I had this: “Five Years!! I see myself being your boss in 2 years, better go and start searching for other suitable job!”. Obviously, just a fun thought, does not mean the question is stupid (well thinking again – the question has some stupid elements!”)

    It is okay – laugh and enjoy reading good stuff. Good work Sadaf. Hope you get the job!Recommend

  • Nasrullah Sheikh

    Hi I agree with Anon and Samrah. By going through the (so called) idiotic question by Sadaf. I found her really sarcastic, over confident and rude and i am sure no one want to hire such a thick headed person and that why employer ask those questions. Sadaf’s answers are self explanatory that weather she qualifies for the job or not.. And thanks Anon for the detailed reply…Recommend

  • Atif

    Such stupid questions…Recommend

  • Mazhar ul Islam

    @ Anon – thanks for sharing. These were very mature and sensible responses to the immature ones earlier, and potentially your responses help a lot to immature candidates in understanding the objectives behind the questions (if they take them serious) and to mature employers (who will get the right responses).Recommend

  • Usman

    Sadaf

    Any question can be made to sound funny by replying in above tone, however there is a purpose behind every minor detail they ask. I am not an HR person and at times also do not agree with their procedures but these questions are aimed to read the psycology and not just to get the answer. These questions have been designed by psycologists to read the attitude of the person being interviewed, The highly skilled HR of microsoft may even ask you more or less the same questions. So all of you; dont get carried away by the stupid nature of these questions and get prepared to answer them well.

    UsmanRecommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    @Anon (Danish anis Taj)………I suggest not to read any article if you lack sense of humor……………..and you can have better ways to pass your SATURDAYs……:PRecommend

  • abc

    Miss Sadaf Fayyaz

    A little humbleness on your part would do a world of good to you. Just like you are entitled to your opinion, the rest of us are too. If someone is criticising your write up take it in good stride rather than implying them to be stupid. You’re not the smartest person nor the brightest, the reason your posts are so “funny” is because you cant write anything serious or witty. And trust me they’re not funny.

    The questions you came up with arent very intelligent, are asked the world over with reason. just cuz you find em stupid doesnt mean they are stupid, and that the interviewer needs to research.

    The answers you came up with, sorry but they are just ramblings that anyone can come up with.

    I dont hate you, your posts are actually light hearted, but your know it all attitude is just horrible. Grow up and learn to take criticism like a mature person. You’re posting on a public forum, stop defending yourself.Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    hahahaha..i doubt you ever find a job.Recommend

  • Naveed Javed

    ROFL very well written, I’m having the same afflict from the CEO’s, Project and HR Managers of different companies for last two months. One thing which pinches me the most is: For one job we have to take two to three interviews and the same story is repeated just like a motion picture screenplay…Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/hassan.sunny Syed Hassan Talal

    hahahahaha …. these typical questions are being asked by most interviewers … even in Armed forces …. i love these questions … cz everytime i say … u want my ans or ur ans :p !!!Recommend

  • F

    Thumbs up Anon and Deen.

    I’ll add my two cents here.

    The questions asked are quite valid and have a purpose.
    Could they be re-phrased and designed better? Sure.
    Do HR people know how to manipulate the questions? Maybe, Maybe not.

    So having said that, how would you have asked the questions if you were the interviewer, Sadaf?Recommend

  • tahira

    I ve been through these 15 questions as well….
    Well written and simply hilarious yet true!Recommend

  • http://www.articlemafia.com Leemax

    Good one…. A mirror to interviewer.

    Article MafiaRecommend

  • AA

    Wow 84 + mine (1) – Sadaf’s own (?) comments, and mostly +ve..What a confidence build up doze for ya sadaf…am waiting for your new blog.. ^_^Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Thats strange…………..the “like” button status is more shocking? 280? :SRecommend

  • Fahad Hashmat

    But Sadaf…what happened to the job? Did you get it?
    I am sure you must have answered seriously during the interview (and this will make your critics, over here, happy that even you understand the seriousness behind those little stupid questions!)Recommend

  • Mohsin

    Bad writing, please either put this article in the trying to be comic category or delete it.Recommend

  • abc

    Just look at the arrogance.Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    @Fahad……..Yes,,,But its a NO from my side…..They wont be able to work with me……:_( The reason for NO is a question that I didnt add….”You shall be leaving the other (writing) work that you are doing…….”meant writing work…..for ET, and others……..cant leave…No compromise on that………Recommend

  • Fahad Hashmat

    Oh, don’t worry, you will find something even better – which you would want to do and would not have to compromise on other important stuff.

    And people saying good things about your article – Great stuff and keep writing.Recommend

  • Anam Ashraf Ali

    I am in university right now and soon will be Inshallah starting my career so I don’t have a hands on experience yet, My Business Communication professor might just faint after hearing those answers =D funny write up, Good going!Recommend

  • http://sadaf-fayyaz.blogspot.com/ SadafFayyaz

    Fahad Thanks
    Anam………dont show your Bus comm teacher this article……..:0Recommend

  • AA

    @ Sadaf – Gud luck for next interviews.
    PS: Put your blog’s URL on your cv now ;) Recommend

  • Hammad Zafar Minhas

    well! one such interviewer asked from an unemplyed person for last 8 months….
    Q. how were u running ur kitchen uptill now?
    ………………………………………………………………….
    and that so kind person put the placement on HOLD at his return to his H.Q.
    People are so selfish to their biases….Recommend

  • fozia zafar

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha omg sadaf,i cant stop laughing…lollxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx…i ll say its a wonderfulllllllllllllllllll brilliant classical hillarious article…..hahahahahahahahahahaha…thums up.Recommend

  • clayrog

    To those folks that think these questions are valid I say nonsense. The author is 100% right on. I particularly found the latter explanations of why questions 4 and 10 are good and/or valid to be very much off base. Why should I give an employer a reason not to hire me? And the author’s response that one person’s weakness may be another’s strength is very true, but how does a candidate know that?
    Q10 was said to be valid by one responder since a single person doesn’t have to worry about being away from a family and dealing with the related commitments. Well, it could just as easily be aruged that a single person is a liability because they can more easily get up and walk away from a job while the married person is dedicated to taking care of his/her responsibilities.
    Q1 I said I wanted to be the president of the company. I was told they had one and that wasn’t a very realistic answer. Whatever.
    One other company told me they didn’t like the college I attended because those graduates wanted to come as vice presidents rather than work their way up the ladder. (At the time I didn’t really feel like I was ready to be a vice president.)Recommend

  • MJ

    @Anon: Only person who seems to have some sense here.

    These questions are necessary to test the candidate in the answers he gives. You look for points in those answers and this information helps in deciding whether to hire or not.

    Cant believe so many people are blind towards the nature of the questions. Seriously, YOU are the one going in there for the job. If you cannot even realize that these questions are pretty much a VERY important way of recognizing your competence for the job, don’t even bother because CLEARLY you’re not motivated for the job. Competition is up people, companies want the cream of the crop so these questions will become even more regularized and ‘stupid’ as time goes on.

    Again, kudos to Anon for trying to explain to you lunkheads.Recommend

  • Sana Qadeer

    Good One………Recommend

  • Ibrahim

    Rubbish blog. Please grow up. Recommend