Death by Interview Questions

No matter how confident you are, going for a job interview can be nerve-wracking. Even if you take the time to prepare in advance (and we hope that you do prepare for your interviews) there will probably still be some difficult interview questions that are difficult to answer. This is to be expected.

Tip: Find out the Difficult Interview Questions Recruiters Expect you to be Prepared for here:

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But sometimes interviewers ask interview questions which we are not comfortable answering. If you’ve ever been in this situation then you are absolutely right to feel this way. If not, then chances are you’ve been asked inappropriate interview questions in the past without even realizing it.

Inappropriate, Irrelevant, Illegal Interview Questions

Here is a list of the most common interview questions that you should not be asked:

Personal Questions:

  • Is English your first language?
  • How old are you?
  • Do you have any criminal convictions?
  • What religion are you?
  • What are your sexual preferences?
  • Do you have any physical/ mental disabilities?

Family-Related Questions:

  • Are you married?
  • Do you have children?
  • Are you planning to have children?

Job-Related Questions:

  • How many days were you off sick in your last job?
  • Are you a trade union member?


Ask yourself are these interview questions relevant?These kinds of interview questions really have no place in a job interview, because there are laws against discrimination, as Peter Reilly, principal associate at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), explains."In a legal sense, you have to be careful," he says. "You have to ask, is that relevant to the task? And if it's not, you shouldn't be asking it."

How to Handle Inappropriate, Irrelevant, Illegal Interview Questions

If it's just a challenging question like "What type of animal do you see yourself as?" - that's a question that's designed to put you on the spot. It's not illegal, just annoying.

If it's Illegal or improper then it's up to you to "bat it back". You might be uncomfortable doing this but at the end of the day, if you get the job then you have to be comfortable working at the company. You should also ask yourself if the questions being asked are indicative of the company’s values and culture. If so then you are better off finding this out now.

Sometimes an interviewer will ask an inappropriate question accidentally. Especially in the early stages of the interview when they are trying to make small talk and build rapport. In this instance you have the choice whether or not to answer them politely based on the intent of the question.

P.S. Don’t get hit by an interview question curveball. Make sure that you know how to answer the Difficult Interview Questions Recruiters Expect you to be Prepared For.