Save to Pocket
Job search

Candidates reveal some of the worst interview questions they’ve been asked

New research from cloud-based talent acquisition solutions provider iCIMS, Inc., shows that job applicants are hearing the wrong kinds of questions during interviews.

Five hundred working American adults reportedly took the survey (both full-time and part-time workers), and the report also included data from the iCIMS system, which is based on “a database of more than 61 million applications and three million jobs posted per year by 3,500+ customers.”

These questions should not be asked in a job interview

Here are just a few questions that job applicants have reportedly heard during interviews:

  • “What is God’s plan for you, in your opinion?”
  • “What do you wear on Tuesdays?”
  • “Are you pregnant?”
  • “How many online chat rooms do you belong to?”
  • “Are you rich?”
  • “Are you married or single?”

Most job applications are sent in on Tuesday

The iCIMS system data also showed what percentage of applications are submitted each day of the week.

  • Monday: 17%
  • Tuesday: 18%
  • Wednesday: 18%
  • Thursday: 16%
  • Friday: 13%
  • Saturday: 9%
  • Sunday: 10%

Twenty-two percent of people surveyed said they were “actively” seeking a new position.

People in these states complete job apps the fastest

While 59% of job applicants stopped filling out a job application because of “issues or bugs with the online career site,” iCIMS data found that candidates “who abandoned” job applications online took four minutes, on average, before getting to that point.

The iCIMS data also showed the states where people take the least time to finish online job applications:

  • Washington: 8:48
  • Delaware: 8:52
  • West Virginia: 9:25
  • New Jersey: 9:49
  • New York: 10:20

While people took an average of 11 minutes to finish an application, among those who aren’t “actively looking for a new job,” 51% said that they “would consider one if the right opportunity” presented itself.

Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer at iCIMS, commented on the research in a statement.

“When searching and applying for a job, candidates expect the same ease of use and functionality they see in the apps, search engines and websites they already use every day…Particularly in today’s tight labor market, if companies do not prioritize the candidate experience, they will not only turn off applicants and lose out on great talent, but they will also hurt their company’s reputation and ability to deliver business results,” she said.

Most people think text messages could help the job application process

Eighty-six percent surveyed agree that text messages could be helpful at different stages. Here’s what they’d like to get texts about:

  • “When applying for open positions, such as to jumpstart the application process:” 33%
  • “When completing applications, such as to answer questions about the application:” 34%
  • “When scheduling next steps after being hired:” 57%
  • “When scheduling interviews:” 57%

The average number of days working people took “off from work” for job interviews was two. But the average number of interviews (face-to-face or on the phone) job applicants had for a position was three, whether they got it or not.

Still, the job application process isn’t without its setbacks: 65% of those surveyed said “that recent security breaches have made them less likely to apply for a job through social media.”

More from Ladders