[Resume.io] The worst job interview questions, revealed

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On this subject, here is an article about Interviewing: Bam! Just when you thought you’d made it safely through your job interview, the boss drops a nightmare question on you. A question so unexpected that you didn’t even prepare for it. Your stomach churning, you try every possible combination of all the good interview words you know. Your interviewers smile as they show you the door, but you’re sure you’ve blown it thanks to that one, demon question.

Perhaps it was a weird question. Something designed to test your creativity or probe your personality. Or perhaps it was something HR wasn’t supposed to ask you about. Your age, your children, your ethnicity. Still, it makes you wonder: was there a better way I could have answered that question?

Resume.io wants you to be as prepared as possible for your next job interview. So, we surveyed 2,000 Americans to find out the worst questions they’ve ever been asked. We found out a lot about the way interviewers think, and also about the sexism and other discrimination jobhunters still have to navigate in interviews.

We also figured out the best way to answer difficult questions like these. Read on for the worst job interview questions people like you still get asked – and our new guide on how to answer them.

Key findings

  • The most difficult question to answer according to our survey is: “How many gas stations are there in the United States?”
  • Women are more likely than men to be asked why they should be hired and where they see themselves in 5 years.
  • A quarter of interviewees (25%) have been asked about their relationship, and another quarter have been asked about their experiences with police and law enforcement.
  • You are 18% less likely to be asked an illegal question at a job interview in the Midwest region.

Top 10 worst job interview questions (and how different groups feel about them)

Your job interviewer may think they’re being pretty original with their leftfield questions – but chances are, they’ve stumbled on a regular doozie. This interactive chart shows the questions consistently rated ‘hardest to answer’ by our survey participants. Click on a question to reveal the gender and age breakdown of those who rated it the worst question.

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