Job interview questions are strange animals. Everyone dreads being asked what their greatest weakness is, and then having to balance the pros and cons of being honest versus the now clichéd approach of “turn your weakness into a strength.” For years, Google was infamous for making interviewees spend a lot of time answering “brain teasers” like “Design an evacuation plan for San Francisco” and the difficult to comprehend “Explain the significance of ‘dead beef.'” Google subsequently deep-sixed the practice after discovering that it didn’t actually help them find better employees at all.
It turns out that many South Korean companies are now going through a Google-like moment when it comes to asking seemingly irrelevant interview questions. For years, Korean companies have tried to determine if someone will be a “fit” in their organization by asking doozies like:
- 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?
- How long do you plan on working for our company?
- What do you plan on spending your first paycheck on?
- How many close friends do you have?
- How does it feel like to live far away from your parents?
Women applicants got it even worse, by by being asked such additional winners as:
- As a woman, do you want to be an executive?
- How many years do you think you’ll be working?
- 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?
(All of those questions were taken from a Korean blog called Tistory, which got them off of job search sites.)
Thankfully, new privacy legislation, as well as a fear of angry would-be employees taking to Twitter, means that questions like those are falling out of favour.
Still, it makes you feel better about the “greatest weakness” question, doesn’t it?
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve been asked in a job interview? Let us know in the comments.