It doesn't have to be programming or software development related, but just asked during an interview for an IT related job.

I know some "left field" questions are meant to see how the candidate copes with unexpected and novel situations, but here I'm looking for a question that appeared to be completely unrelated to the job they were interviewing you for, or something that made you think "what useful information could they possibly get from my answer to that question?".

  • 2
    Worst as in most difficult, or worst as in least representative of skill? – Fishtoaster Sep 3 '10 at 19:27
  • @Fishtoaster - most inappropriate or least representative of skill - basically you think "how could they gain anything useful from that ?" – ChrisF Sep 3 '10 at 19:51
  • 2
    Fascinating, I'll bet some of the questions below put the employer at risk of being sued by the interviewee... they MUST violate some US employment law – goodguys_activate Oct 31 '10 at 13:14

28 Answers 28


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Do they really think people are dumb enough to say that they want to do something completely different? Or don't want to work for them?

I guess it can be useful as an indicator of who not to hire but it's so stupid easy to fake that you can't use it as an indicator of who to hire in any way if they answer correctly.

  • 94
    Answer: "Your supervisor" – Chris Sep 4 '10 at 12:30
  • 18
    To be fair, there are a few different valid answers to this that would indicate whether you want to pursue a management track (dev->pm->manager) or stay as a developer in the long term. – Fishtoaster Sep 8 '10 at 20:11
  • 17
    I always answer "programming, I don't want to be a manager". – Wizard79 Sep 8 '10 at 20:11
  • 12
    Oh, c'mon. I'd feel cheated if I wasn't asked this question. The way to judge the interview is seeing how long it takes them to ask. – JeffO Sep 14 '10 at 18:21
  • 9
    @chris, even better: marriedtothesea.com/092408/interview-over-lunch.gif – Malfist Oct 6 '10 at 17:52

"Would you have any problems with being the only woman in a currently all-male group?"

'Cause, darn, then who would I talk with about lipstick? Or whether puce is in this year? Or any other non-work-related question I have no interest in?

Yes, I got the job.
Yes, I got stuck with things like, "We have to buy a group birthday gift for the boss, and you're a woman, so you collect money from everyone, figure out what to get him, and then go buy & wrap it."
Yes, I regretted taking the job, and was thrilled to leave.

Did they think that after 16 years of programming it would be news to me that this is a primarily male field?

  • 16
    @Dori, it sounds like the question was social. I don't think your gender has anything to do with your ability to write code, but I think it does affect social situations. You said so yourself, your coworkers, being all male, decided to make you collect money from everyone and buy and wrap the gift. Another thing I can point out, and this is just for fun, is that often in male social groups, they get the weakest person to do the crap nobody wants to do. They might have been treating you just like they would treat a male by testing you to see if you would just give in to the pressure. – andrewrk Sep 14 '10 at 4:36
  • 13
    It's a fair question. I know many women who are not as comfortable as I am working in predominantly male teams. I'm the opposite, I prefer not to work in predominantly female teams. As for the gift thing, when men ask that I say, "You know, if you did it yourself once in a while rather than asking the nearest woman, you'd be competent at it, too." Some men just don't get that we aren't better at it because of our DNA, we are better at it because we have more practice! – HedgeMage Nov 4 '10 at 18:46
  • 10
    Perfectly good question. If you answer was no, you would not have been a good fit for the team. Hence a very good predictor o fitness for the job. – David Reis Nov 15 '10 at 8:55
  • 5
    It might, in your opinions, be a perfectly good/fair question—but it's also a completely illegal question where it took place (in California). They would not have asked it of a man, which makes it gender discrimination. But the real issue I had/have is that it's a stupid question: what on earth could an employer learn from it? All programmers know the field is predominantly male; only an idiot would say, "No, I don't want to work in a group where I'm the only woman". Any woman who can't handle being in an otherwise all-male group needs to change careers asap. – Dori Nov 15 '10 at 10:24
  • 8
    At work, every woman I've known in our industry has wanted to be dealt with as a professional foremost, and her gender to be mostly a non-issue. But unfortunately, many parts of our industry are terribly misogynist. It ranges from little snubs to - no joke - death threats for having the temerity to submit code to an open-source project. Many qualified female programmers I know have left the industry because they got sick of this. Others get very prickly and just smack the hammer down on anybody who connects their profession and gender in any way. I really can't blame them for that at all. – Bob Murphy Dec 13 '10 at 3:38

"What's the method signature of [I forget] from the [some Java reflection class]?"

"Uh... do you want me to look it up?"

The guy was visibly disgusted that I didn't know. For a web applications job.

  • 22
    Absolutely. Trivia questions like these are garbage. This is 2011 - internet is everywhere, and if you're working in an IDE you typically have context sensitive help and code completion at your fingertips. – Curtis Batt Feb 17 '11 at 19:36
  • As a good friend of mine will usually point out in this situation. If you were at a conference where one side spoke English and the other spoke Russian, would you want the guy that can translate in his head, or the guy that has to use Google Translator over the internet. – Andrew T Finnell Aug 13 '11 at 12:39
  • 3
    Sounds like your friend would interview Russian translators by asking them to translate some Spanish off the top of their heads. – Rodney Gitzel Aug 22 '11 at 19:26

When does your visa expire?

I'm a US citizen, Chinese-American. English is my native language and the question came up after about 10 minutes of conversation.

  • 69
    I don't think asking about my credit cards is appropriate. =) – projecktzero Sep 22 '10 at 19:20
  • 12
    How about answering "I don't have a visa" :) – MAK Dec 13 '10 at 3:14
  • 4
    I may be wrong here, but isn't that one of big illegal no-nos in pre-hire questioning? (ref: humanresources.about.com/od/interviewing/a/interview_quest.htm - "are you a U.S. citizen?" – Jesse C. Slicer Dec 13 '10 at 22:33
  • 9
    Yes, it's illegal. The question you can ask is "Do you have the legal right to work in this country for any employer?" Whether that legal right comes from citizenship or a green card isn't their business. – Kyralessa Jan 28 '11 at 10:47
  • 4
    How can it be illegal when you would not be able to get a security clearance if you weren't a citizen and in many jobs that would make you quite useless? – Dunk Feb 17 '11 at 19:08

"Can you bring us the secrets of your past employers?"

Not exactly in these words, but that's the intention.

  • Are you kick them or what you do with that person – Anirudha Gupta May 10 '11 at 15:25

In rapid succession:

  • What's your biggest strength?
  • What's your biggest weakness?
  • What's your weakest strength?

last one really threw me for a loop.

  • 38
    But really, what is your weakest weakness? – Annika Backstrom Sep 10 '10 at 12:43
  • @Adam Kryptonite – GSto Sep 22 '10 at 18:44
  • 8
    I think the last one was just to see if you were listening. – Kyralessa Sep 29 '10 at 4:02
  • 5
    What's your strongest weakness? – Odinulf Jul 21 '11 at 14:59

I was once asked, "Has anything unfortunate happened to you recently?"

I responded that my father had recently died. The interviewer just nodded slowly and said "Hmmm...."

  • 27
    +1. If you're in for an interview, it's reasonable to assume that something unfortunate has happened to you recently, otherwise you wouldn't be at a job interview! – Mason Wheeler Sep 11 '10 at 0:02
  • 4
    @Mason Wheeler - What about college graduates looking for their first job? – Rook Sep 22 '10 at 19:18
  • 22
    @Rook: I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who consider college an unfortunate event. – Jon Purdy Oct 7 '10 at 0:25
  • 9
    @Jon: I'd imagine that there's many more who consider leaving college an unfortunate event. – afrazier Dec 13 '10 at 14:46
  • 12
    Yes... someone just asked me an awkward and irrelevant question... very unfortunate... – JoelFan Jan 11 '11 at 3:44

What is your worst flaw?

This question is so dated and expected that I now use it as a metric. If a company is so far behind that they ask me this, I don't want to work for them.

  • 33
    I just answer with "I'm too awesome" – Tim Goodman Sep 3 '10 at 19:50
  • 59
    If phrased as "What's your biggest weakness?", the correct answer is "Kryptonite". – Dan Dyer Sep 4 '10 at 14:43
  • 22
    The correct answer is: "A low tolerance for questions like this" – Jaco Pretorius Sep 8 '10 at 21:03
  • 10
    What is your best flaw? – JeffO Sep 14 '10 at 18:21
  • 12
    "Could you be more specific?" - Problem solved. – Steven Evers Sep 16 '10 at 21:13

How many Functions are there in the Object Class ?

Compared to the other answers posted, I think this one should win by miles :-).

  • Did he mean methods? (Assuming .Net) – Callum Rogers Sep 22 '10 at 18:54
  • 2
    So he didn't know the terminology either.... – Michael K Nov 4 '10 at 19:24
  • 9
    I got this question from a Japanese company. Name as many methods as you can of the "string" class. Terrible question. – Neil G Nov 19 '10 at 6:52
  • Answer: Enough that I only need to know a handful to do my job, and Google tells me the rest. – Wayne Molina Aug 19 '11 at 15:23
  • Wow, that is bad. When I get questions like that I (using incorrect terminology) I think I have missed some major part of programming all these years : they have introduced functional programming and closures to java's standard api. Then I get home and realize otherwise. – NimChimpsky Sep 8 '11 at 7:48

"What animal would you be if you could be any animal you wanted to be?"

I was 20 years old then and I chose "human", but that was an unacceptable answer. They persisted, and I started to think they were a bit loopy. A week later they offered me the job, which I later declined.

  • 58
    " DINOSAUR! " and when the inteviewer starts to ask for an explanation, I just keep screaming "Dinosaur" until he too understands how awesome it would be to be a dinosaur. – SingleNegationElimination Dec 12 '10 at 20:35
  • 29
    @TokenMacGuy: Or you could constantly cut him off. "Interesting, do you thi..." "RAWR!" "Yes, but what's your experience like with..." "RAWWWRR!" "Ok you can sto..." "RAAAAWWWRRR!" "You're not actually a dinosaur." "Now that you brought it up, I REALLY want to be one! RAWR!" – Steven Evers Dec 12 '10 at 21:41
  • The only animal that can be anything it wants to be is a shapeshifter. – oosterwal May 26 '11 at 15:34
  • 3
    honey badger, it would take out chuck norris. youtube.com/watch?v=c81bcjyfn6U – NimChimpsky Sep 8 '11 at 7:45
  • 1
    A trillionare philanthropist playboy, with the power to turn invisible. What, you said 'anything'! – Matthew Scouten Oct 27 '11 at 18:41

"How would you reformat this piece of code here?"

They wanted the interviewee to give an answer consistent with the company's coding standards, i.e. guess what that company's standards are.
Their style was unusual (Whitesmiths style indenting and they required a comment on every statement) so I doubt many candidates would have given the answer they wanted.

Fortunately they didn't give too much weight to that question. I scored more points by spotting all the bugs in the example function and they hired me.

  • 6
    Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't walk out. How was it to work there? (that's meant to be a sincere question btw) – John MacIntyre Sep 11 '10 at 10:00
  • 2
    @finnw - BSD is better than Whitesmith. – orokusaki Sep 26 '10 at 21:07
  • 3
    @John MacIntyre, @orokusaki and @Kyralessa, you are all missing the point. I would not choose a company to work for based on their preferred brace style. It is just not important enough. What I was commenting on was that they ask this question when it is impractical to filter candidates based on it (because the style is unusual and they do not interview many candidates so it would be rare to find a candidate with the same style preferences.) – finnw Sep 29 '10 at 18:45
  • 5
    @finnw - I got the point. My point was that usually when a company focuses so much on such an irrelevant point, they're usually a very picky (not demanding ... picky) company to work for. Really, anybody should be able to adapt to, or influence the change of, any code format style. Really, if anybody should be asking this question, it should be the programmer ... after they receive an offer. Know what I mean? .... so may I ask; were they picky about other stuff as well? Or am I off base? – John MacIntyre Sep 29 '10 at 20:07
  • 4
    @finnw, They probably wanted to hear how much screaming you would do when they showed you what they actually wanted. – user1249 Feb 17 '11 at 18:50

I was asked the infamous rectangular cake question during a job interview:

How would you cut a rectangular cake into two equal pieces when a rectangular piece has already been cut out of it? The cut piece can be of any size and orientation. You are only allowed to make one straight cut.

This was terrible for two reasons:

  1. I think certain types of puzzle questions that have an "aha" answer don't show anything about the candidate. If you've heard the question before, you can fake working through the answer. If you haven't, the problem space is completely defined in the question, which means that the candidate doesn't really have a sensible way to work through the problem asking clarifying questions the way someone would with a real requirement.
  2. Although I immediately came up with a valid answer given all the constraints specified - "make one straight horizontal cut along the height of the cake so that the resulting slices are of equal sizes", this wasn't the answer the interviewer wanted, so I stood in near silence for a couple of minutes and then drew the "correct" answer on the board.

Although I got a job offer from this interview, the stupidity of this question and the general zealotry of the interviewer put me off working for the company, so I guess this question was useful for me to help decide not to work there!

  • 8
    I don't think that is a bad question for a programming job that involves a substantial amount of math (e.g. audio/image resampling.) There may be an "Aha!" answer but you will have an advantage if you can spot that kind of solution while working on that kind of project (real-life example: choose a horizontal or vertical line to divide a photographic image so that the two parts have JPEG encodings of appproximately the same length.) – finnw Sep 3 '10 at 20:15
  • 5
    lol I immediately thought of #2 to cut it horizontally and was suprised when I continued reading and saw it wasn't the correct answer. – Rachel Sep 22 '10 at 18:27
  • 4
    An "experienced interviewee" may indeed know all of the answers to this question, but knowing them has nothing to do with being a good developer. Remember, it's not the goal to hire experienced interviewees; the goal is to hire good developers. – Paddyslacker Sep 30 '10 at 14:34
  • 5
    Hiring an experienced interviewee = hiring someone who is guaranteed to have an easy time finding a new job when he wants to ditch you. :-) – Carson63000 Oct 14 '10 at 0:10
  • 11
    mince the cake, and use a scale. – user1249 Dec 9 '10 at 18:52

The worst I was ever asked was:

Why are manhole covers circular?

Aside from the fact that most aren't this completely threw me.

The answer the interview wanted?

So if you drop it over the hole it can't fall through.

This was about 20 years ago now and I still remember it.

  • 30
    Most manhole covers in the US are circular. I say this as a person who, for a variety of legitimate reasons, goes through them on a regular basis. The drop-through answer is the expected one, but other good options are "Because manholes are circular" "Because circular pipes are structurally stronger" "Because the human body has a roughly circular cross-section." – Fishtoaster Sep 3 '10 at 19:31
  • 4
    @Fishtoaster - this was in the UK. – ChrisF Sep 3 '10 at 19:50
  • 11
    @Fishtoaster - Are you related to the Ninja Turtles by chance? – orokusaki Sep 26 '10 at 21:05
  • 7
    @Kyrlessa Yeah you can. Drop the manhole cover vertically in the middle of the horizontal manhole, since the altitude is longer than the length. – alternative Oct 13 '10 at 21:37
  • 3
    If Richard Feynman applied for a job at Microsoft hebig.org/blog/003029.php – Sevki Dec 18 '10 at 13:57

Having been on both sides of the table on this one, the reaction to the odd and stereotypically lame questions can be more informative than the "good" ones.

The worst of that sort I was ever asked was if I would take a doughnut.

They had one on a plate on the table, but it was sitting in front of an empty chair next to the 4th coffee cup on the table (only three interviewers) giving the appearance that it was a 4th person's doughnut. The job dealt with a fair number of uncomfortable situations and they wanted to see how gracefully the interviewee could deal with it.

The one I later asked as an interviewer was to go 3rd in a team interview, and when it was my turn to ask I would put one of those aluminum briefcases that movies always show cash in on the table and ask the interviewee to name something inside. I actually carried the briefcase regularly so there was mostly normal things inside, but in dozens of interviews I only ever got two good answers: "air" which is almost impossible to be wrong, and "pencil" which we actually had to look to see because I couldn't remember (their wasn't). The point of this one was to see how quickly the person could deal with the random context change and how logically they approached the issue.

The point is that sometimes the answer itself doesn't matter in the least, the interviewer is interested in how you handle yourself or how you arrive at the answer.

  • 6
    So how did you answer the donut question? – Adam Lear Sep 16 '10 at 14:05
  • 3
    I did not eat the doughnut – Bill Sep 16 '10 at 16:33
  • 1
    If you just said "I'm not hungry." It would have just killed the question. +1, terrible question. – Steven Evers Oct 13 '10 at 21:55
  • 13
    Amateurs should stop trying to be psychologists. The results are just plain stupid. Like your average HR drone. – JUST MY correct OPINION Jan 9 '11 at 12:47
  • 3
    the answer IS meaningless... Both the doughnut and the briefcase examples were from similar positions where you absolutely had to keep composure regardless of what is thrown at you. weird, stressful jobs. one day you might be dealing with a homesick kid, another day a serial arsonist, supply logistics for feeding 1000 people, a suicide, rabid animals, a pedophile, tornadoes, dragging a lake for a body, whatever.... (all things that happened at the doughnut job). For Nim's example : If you are a mechanic you should call BS, if you are in sales you should entertain it or laugh it off – Bill Sep 9 '11 at 3:12

"How many years of DLL do you have?

It happened during a phone interview with a recruiter. I kind of saw this question coming because the previous five or so questions were all in the form of "how many years of X do you have", for each X from the list of buzzwords exactly in the order they occurred in the job ad.

This question will not only make you think "what useful information could they possibly get from my answer to that question?", but also "what useful information could they possibly get from any of my answers?"

The job would have required an 80km (50-mile) one-way commute, so I knew at that moment I wasn't going to pursue it.


When I was near graduation in college, I had an interview with a woman who started every question like this:

Share with me your feelings about...
Share with me your thoughts on...

She was not at all technical, so all these were touchy/feely questions about odd social behaviors and situations. It was extremely awkward.

  • 2
    Depends on what came after that. Being non-technical would indicate to me that she was an HR representative, and their job is to filter out people that wouldn't fit in the team dynamic (non-team players, cowboys, total assholes etc.). Those types of questions are common, and can be very useful. I've gotten positions over equally skilled candidates because I showed a better fit for the company (I later found out that the other candidate was an obnoxious prick). – Steven Evers Dec 12 '10 at 21:49
  • 3
    Can you please share me your feelings on multiple inheritance? – tylerl Apr 1 '11 at 0:32

I see from your resume you've spent some time in Israel... would you have a problem working with Palestinian co-workers?

  • 9
    Better safe than sorry is what they say. – David Reis Nov 15 '10 at 9:02
  • Well, would you??? – Job Feb 18 '11 at 1:59
  • 3
    Speaking as someone who does live in israel, no, not a problem. – Zachary K Mar 1 '11 at 14:25

How do you feel about customers?

I answered with: "I haven't met any."

Then at the end (this question ended the interview by itself) my favorite:

From one to ten, how would you rate yourself as a person?

To which I replied: Eleven.

Big Silence

He then thanked me, and I left. Ten minutes out the door I was offered my current job.

Now you know why I wanted to impress the guy. =)

  • 5
    Point to yourself and in a British accent say "This one goes to eleven" while looking brainless. If the interviewer falls off his chair laughing, then take the job, regardless of the salary. – Graham Jul 13 '11 at 13:31
  • @Graham lol (min chars) – NimChimpsky Sep 8 '11 at 7:52

I was once asked by a Microsoft recruiter to solve a question which was basically the pigeon hole principal. I responded by emailing a link to the Wikipedia article.

  • I would of accepted that answer. You'd be surprised how many people cannot look up the easiest of things. – Andrew T Finnell Aug 13 '11 at 12:55

Here are 38 more questions.

  • 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.
  • What would your past managers say about you?
  • How do you feel about working overtime?
  • WOW ! U r really good at collecting old memories – Zerotoinfinity Dec 12 '10 at 20:17
  • 12
    Glorious, I counted at least 9 which you are forbidden by law from asking prospective hires in the US. Folks aught to know better. – SingleNegationElimination Dec 12 '10 at 20:46
  • 15
    Are you married, divorced, separated, or single? Answer: Yes – BlackICE Dec 12 '10 at 21:21
  • 8
    "Have you ever been sexually harassed?" "No...?" "Would you like to?" – Steven Evers Dec 12 '10 at 21:58
  • Alot of those are really fair questions IMHO. Why do I want someone that won't work overtime, sells our trade secrets to satisfy debts or is a medical disaster waiting to happen? – Wyatt Barnett Feb 17 '11 at 22:04

How much can you drink (alcohol).

It was a weird company, the boss and his son smoked so everyone worked in a smoke filled room. Luckily the found somebody else.

  • 26
    The smoking thing sucks, but any company hiring programmers that asks about your alcohol tolerance is exactly the kind of place that I'd like to be employed. They clearly understand the vital implications of Ballmer's Peak. – CodexArcanum Nov 4 '10 at 18:22

I was in a phone interview for a .NET job and the interviewer was aware that I am a fresh graduate with 6 months of part time ASP.NET(C#) experience.

She first asked me, "How come you don't list sharepoint on your resume?"

I respond, "Because I don't have any sharepoint experience."

She responds, "Well I thought you said you have 6 mos. of ASP.NET experience?"

I respond, "Correct, but I didn't utilize sharepoint at all."

She responds, "Well my client is asking for .NET Sharepoint experience, sorry."

End of interview.

  • 3
    Welcome to the world of Recruiters, RFPs, and the dreaded "skills matrix". – Curtis Batt Feb 17 '11 at 19:44
  • 3
    Right, you probably went through a recruiter who lied and said "SharePoint? Uh... sure, they know SharePoint!". I've actually had recruiters take my resume, add untrue stuff to it, and then forward it to the interviewer. During the phone screen, the interviewer insisted that my resume said I know some obscure technology that I had never heard of, and I had to reassure him that the recruiter was a liar. – Mike Mooney May 17 '11 at 10:20

I was once asked if i was married or single.

  • 9
    Perhaps the interviewer thought you were cute? – user1249 Feb 17 '11 at 18:53
  • 2
    At least in the USA that may be illegal – Zachary K Mar 1 '11 at 14:26
  • 5
    "Married" and "single" are mutually exclusive, so the correct answer should be "Yes." – oosterwal May 26 '11 at 20:18
  • Its illegal to ask marital status. – JonH Oct 20 '11 at 18:18

It can be considered a little bit off-topic, but I think it is worth to tell this story.

There was a terrible thing that happened to me.

When I was searching my first job, I was interviewed by a nice guy, at the first interview. One week after, the second interview there was his superior interviewing me, screaming like I was burning him, and me, I was shocked that the guy was screaming so much.

The next day the company phoned me for beginning to prepare myself to work for them, in a few days they would call me.

So, in a few days they called me. They said I would not be hired because the project was aborted.


I was once asked if I had any food allergies.

  • 7
    Hmmm while potentially illegal in some countries (US HIPPA laws perhaps) this is a legitimate question. What if the business has a team that handles giant bags of peanuts, leaving peanut residue on your door knobs and the like? I'd be glad as hell that an interviewer told me this if I had a peanut allergy, which can be life threatening. – Graham Jul 13 '11 at 13:34
  • It's not legitimate. It's asking about a medical condition, so it's probably a violation of HIPAA, and possibly of the Americans with Disabilities Act as well. What would be legitimate: "Our developer offices are open cubicles in the middle of a peanut factory. There's peanut dust everywhere. We know that some people have food allergies so we try to be up-front about this. In case we call and offer you the job, please consider beforehand whether you can comfortably work in this type of environment." A refusal then wouldn't necessarily say anything about the person's medical condition. – Kyralessa Jan 11 '12 at 17:43

Are you easily offended by off-color humor?

Is there anyone who thinks they are? If I define it as humor, then I'm probably not offended, and if I'm offended, I probably didn't think it was funny or humorous. Obviously, there are things that WOULD offend me, but I have no way of knowing if what you refer to and what I refer to are the same degree of offensiveness, and no way of asking if that's what you refer to without bringing up, by definition, an offensive topic!

It occurred to me after a few seconds that they might want to just see how I react to interoffice disputes or something, but that question threw me off for a second.

  • 5
    I've actually experience a bit of the opposite. I'm generally crass in humour and very sarcastic; my employer, and 90% of the employees were very religious (read: church 6 nights a week) and many of them were not very accepting of things that I'd normally find hilarious or interesting. Fortunately, I always keep my mouth shut until I found out what kinds of things are accepted at work and I never offended anyone. – Steven Evers Dec 12 '10 at 21:55

I've seen some companies in Portugal, and not only from the IT area, asking "How many gas bombs there are in Portugal?" (or in some other geographically delimited area known by both employer and candidate).

There was also an HR person telling this to me, and I said that I would not answer to this question or answer that "I will not give an answer to this question".

But, she replied me, that, for this question, you only need to answer. Period.

In my opinion such kind of questions don't add anything scientifically verifiable, nor do represent a person's ability to solve a problem.

  • 4
    Gas bombs? I've heard of this question with gas stations, but gas bombs? – Beska Aug 12 '11 at 17:29
  • 2
    That was a translation typo. In portuguese the words bomb/station are the same in this context. – devoured elysium Aug 12 '11 at 18:00

How come you haven't learned OOP? Don't you believe in upgrading your skill set?

I was so pissed off. I have forgotten more about writing code than that snot nose will ever learn.

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    Perfectly valid question, unless you were applying to a niche market that doesn't require those skills. – Steven Evers Dec 12 '10 at 22:04
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    >>> I have forgotten more about writing code than that snot nose will ever learn. Except OOP! – Gary Willoughby Feb 17 '11 at 19:51

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