A job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. While trying to look your best, appear confident and capable, and show yourself off in your best light, you are also expected to field a number of questions from a stranger about yourself, your experience, qualifications, and more! Fortunately, many interviewers understand the strangeness of the situation and will do what they can to put you at ease. Not every job interview is like an episode of ‘The Apprentice,’ and it is often in the best interests of the employer to see you at your best, rather than leave you cowering in the corner!
However, there are some places in the world where you might be surprised with the questions asked on your job interview.
There are several fairly standard job interview questions that you can come to expect in some form or other. These may include such classics as, ‘Tell me about a time when you used your initiative / experience/ etc, at work,’ and ‘what are your weaknesses at work,’ and of course, the simple yet standard, ‘do you have any questions for us’ (hint: make sure you have a question or two in mind before the interview!).’
However, these questions pale in comparison to the some of the questions that are reportedly being asked to job seekers in South Korea.
In what seems to be a bid to work out the lifestyles and personalities of potential employees, applicants are being asked some strangely personal questions. South Korean blog, Tistory has been compiling a list of some of the questions asked in the ‘personality section’ of various job search sites, and while there are some standard questions, like, “Why do you want to work for this company?” or “Do you think you have leadership qualities?” there are others that seem to cross the line of what is relevant, or decent!
These questions include:
• What do your parents do for a living?
• How much alcohol can you handle?
• What will you do if you don’t get hired by our company?
• Have you ever been in a situation where you felt you were in despair?
• What do you plan on spending your first pay-check on?
• How many close friends do you have?
It is even worse for women in South Korea, who are given even more questions to answer, which have been shown to include:
• As a woman, do you want to be an executive?
• What will you do with your job if you get married?
• Are you dating anyone?
• What do you think of male-female interactions?
• How long does it take you to do your makeup?
Fortunately, things are changing in South Korea, with companies moving away from such personal questions in interviews. While these changes may be more to do with privacy laws and fear that employers asking such questions will be exposed online, there is a change in culture going on. That said, next time you start worrying about your upcoming interview, just be glad that you are unlikely to face such probing and personal questions!