Stupid questions. Ridiculous questions. "Questions that should not be asked, but god help us all, they are still asked" questions.
You know... Questions like:
"What was your salary in your last position?" (It's illegal in one state to ask this question, but everywhere else, still legal to ask.)
"What is your weakness?"
"What are your salary expectations?" (Being asked way too early in the process is ridiculous... Once the interest has been established in subsequent interviews it is okay.)
Then these job seekers turn around and ask me about it.
These are not whiners. These are smart, progressively employed (even if not currently), accomplished people who want to know why people ask them these inane questions.
"That's a ridiculous question..."
"That question is not fair to ask..."
"They wouldn't ask a man (or woman, or young person, or older person, or anyone different than me) that question..."
**NOTE: To be clear, I am not saying that asking illegal questions are okay. ILLEGAL QUESTIONS ARE MOST CERTAINLY NOT OK TO ASK. EVER.
After all, they are illegal.
Now that we addressed that, let's move on to the topic at hand...
Some job search coaches grandstand and advise candidates to not answer these questions.
Others tell them to feed into the insanity - they justify why it is okay to ask and teach them how to answer in a cliché, unimaginative manner.
Here is my opinion on these types of questions:
Life is not fair... What side do you want to be on?
I am of the position to be prepared for these questions.
Be bold in your preparation.
Regardless of whether it's inane, insane or irrelevant, be ready for every question you hope they don't ask...
Why? People hiring for positions you want may still use these practices.
I'm not saying it's right or wrong that they ask. I'm saying be prepared.
I feel job search coaches who inject their opinion on the topic, can leave job seekers unprepared for the reality that some people with decision making power will still ask.
So you can choose to:
(a) Make the mistake of grandstanding in principle and not be prepared...
Or you cannot care if its right or wrong, and choose:
(b) To be prepared for the questions, get the job and then influence hiring processes at your new place of employment.
I hope you choose B.
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