Women face more awkward and inappropriate questions during job interviews than men, a study found. About 40 per cent of female employees have noted that they have been asked questions related to family planning and 35 per cent say they were asked about their marital or relationship status during professional interviews.
A study conducted by TimesJobs found that a whooping 90 per cent of the 820 of both male and female employees surveyed have faced awkward questions in an interview. However, about 80 per cent women have said that they have had to respond to inappropriate questions while about 60 per cent men faced such questions. Read | Tips on how to prepare for a job interview, click here
“Companies do ask questions related to personal inclinations and habits because they too want to gauge the person coming on board. However, it is absolutely incorrect to ask things like when are you planning to have kids,” says Pallavi Jha, chairperson and managing director of Dale Carnegie Training India.
Among the most common awkward questions that women heard included questions on family planning (40 per cent), marital/relationship status (35 per cent), childcare (30 per cent), age/weight/size (20 per cent), religious/social/personal preferences (15 per cent), lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking (10 per cent) and appearance preferences like tatoos and piercings (5 per cent).
For men, the most common awkward questions included questions on lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking (35 per cent), religious/social/personal preferences (30 per cent), marital/relationship status (25 per cent), appearance preferences like tatoos and piercings (20 per cent), age/weight/size (15 per cent), family planning (10 per cent) and childcare (5 per cent). Read | Funny things people did during job interviews, click here
“While this practice is not acceptable it is unfortunately quite common. Interviewees have the full right to refuse to answer any such questions, it may also provide an opportunity to showcase their personality and attitude. With a keen mind, an inappropriate question can sometimes be reworded appropriately by the jobseekers into a more professional context,” says Ramathreya Krishnamurthi, business head of TimesJobs.
The study further found that most candidates take the diplomatic route while answering such questions while 30 per cent note that they had to politely refuse to answer them. About 10 per cent of the employees have noted that they have walked out of such interviews while 20 per cent said that they responded honestly.