By: Chad Brooks


While employees are often told there are no stupid questions, when on a job  interview that isn’t necessarily the case, new research shows.

A study by staffing firm OfficeTeam revealed a number of unusual and surprising questions that have left many human resources managers shaking their heads. Some of the stranger questions they have heard are:

  • “Do I have to be at work every day?”
  • “Would you consider going on a date with me?”
  • “Do you want to take a ride in my new car?”
  • “What color is the paint in this office?”
  • “Can my husband finish this test for me?”
  • “Is the boss single?”
  • “Do you have a job for my partner?”
  • “What are the women who work here like?”
  • “Can I place my desk near the cafeteria?”

Many job candidates also revealed worries about how much they might have to actually work in their new positions.  Some of the questions human resources professionals have heard regarding time off from prospective candidates include:

  • “Do you allow midday naps?”
  • “Can I get every Tuesday off?”
  • “How soon can I take my first vacation?”
  • “Can I have three weeks off every three months to pursue my music career?”
  • “How much time do I have to put in?”
  • “Can I have my birthday off?”

Robert Hosking, OfficeTeam executive director, believes job candidates would benefit from some extra homework before going into the interview so they are prepared to ask intelligent questions.

“Job seekers can set themselves apart by asking intelligent questions about the company and the position,” Hosking said. “Before interviews, candidates should thoroughly research the employer and come up with questions that show interest in and knowledge of the organization.”

He suggests posing questions that will shed light on the corporate culture and what it takes to be successful in the new role.

“Compensation, benefits and vacation time are often best discussed once an employer has expressed serious intent in extending a job offer,” Hosking said.

Among the questions OfficeTeam advises job candidates to ask are:

  • While researching your firm, I learned the company recently [fill in the blank]. How does this affect your current strategy?
  • Can you describe a typical workday for a person in this role?
  • What skills and attributes are most important for success in this role?
  • How would you describe the work environment here?
  • Why is this position open?
  • What is the typical career path for someone in this position?
  • What do you enjoy most about working here?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?

The study was based on surveys of more than 650 HR managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada.

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