Strangest question a recruiter has asked you?

(302 Posts)
stickydancefloor Tue 11-May-21 12:50:50

Had an online meeting this week with a recruitment agency.

It was all the usual questions until she asked me about the role I held previous to my current one...

"So you were there for 7 years?"
"Yes that's right"
"Who do you keep in touch with from there?"
"Well, no-one nowadays"
"Why's that?"
"I think that's natural when you move onto a new employer that you gradually lose touch with your old colleagues"
But why don't you keep in touch with them?"
"Like I said, we drifted after I left, I think that's quite normal really"
"So you don't speak to any of them?"
"No, it was 7 years ago I left there"
"But why don't you speak to them anymore?"
"Because I'd moved on and things change when you move on and aren't at the same employer"
"So you don't keep in touch with anyone there?"
"NO!!!"

Round and round in a circle!!!!! It was most bizarre!!!!

What the strangest questions you've had from a recruiter?!

OP’s posts: |
PomegranateQueen Tue 11-May-21 12:53:46

Very weird! I was asked if I had my husband's permission to work hmm

Namechangedforthistoday Tue 11-May-21 12:55:15

PomegranateQueen

Very weird! I was asked if I had my husband's permission to work hmm

They asked me this too

FuzzyPuffling Tue 11-May-21 12:56:16

How do I go surfing since I wear glasses? (Admin type job in a school)

whatnow41 Tue 11-May-21 12:56:23

What my mum and dad did for a living. I was 28 and left home at 16, went to Uni, live in a different city etc. I didn't get the job and was told afterwards that they are a family friendly firm who look for people like them. My mum was a single parent, kicked me out of home at 16 and had very little input in to my education, employment or life achievements. They didn't like that. hmm

Overdueanamechange Tue 11-May-21 12:57:18

That's odd. Shocked at yours @PomegranateQueen. I sometimes wonder if they are trying to put you on the spot to see how you cope under pressure! I have got off quite lightly, work for myself now so isn't an issue, but I do remember probably 20 years ago being asked if I had children and whether or not I planned to have any.

FireworksAndSparklers Tue 11-May-21 12:58:10

I was asked by my manager to find out if people (young women) she'd asked me to interview had children or intended to get pregnant soon!!! I told her no because that's illegal. She just told me to be friendly and ask in a roundabout way 🙄 Of course I didn't ask them anything of the kind!

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GeorgesMummy1 Tue 11-May-21 12:59:18

I was asked what my favourite animal was, they then showed me how to be a lion??? (I never got chance to tell them what kind of animal id be!)

BowserJr Tue 11-May-21 13:00:13

Sounds like they were fishing for gossip about the particular place in question to me. Or someone they know used to work with you perhaps?

edwinbear Tue 11-May-21 13:01:21

I have also been asked what my parents did for work, what DH did for work and whether I went to private school or not. All by the same banking/brokerage type firm. I called the recruiter as soon as I left the office and withdrew my application.

KFleming Tue 11-May-21 13:01:30

I was asked by an external recruiter what my childcare arrangements were, and if my husband was happy with them.

nannyshar Tue 11-May-21 13:02:21

I was asked "give me an example of a working relationship you thought would not be good but turned out to be good" - like anyone would walk into a job with the mindset that they would not get on with certain people.

Dixiechickonhols Tue 11-May-21 13:02:41

In interview for professional job. Why the fuck did I want to work in X town? I answered and was offered job there and then and worked there for many years. No one spoke to me at first as I wasn’t local!

Flugbusters420 Tue 11-May-21 13:04:26

I had a recruiter at an agency ask to chat with me after speaking to her colleague - I thought it was about a job, but no, turns out she realised I am from an SE Asian country - the same one that her brother lived in with his young wife. He had recently died, and his wife was pursuing this recruiter woman for money as she had relied on her husband and had young kids. Recruiter woman wanted to find out if that was 'normal' in my culture.

I wanted to ask her if she found in normal to be so racist but I was mindful that she had recently lost her brother, and gave some vague platitudes. They called me about actual jobs a few weeks later but I didn't want to help them make money after that.

Dixiechickonhols Tue 11-May-21 13:05:00

My first boss used to blatantly ask female interviewees for admin positions about family plans and said she could do as she was female (Law firm)

LittleRa Tue 11-May-21 13:06:17

Maybe she knows someone who works there that she wanted to ask you about... or ask them about you wink

Thebig3 Tue 11-May-21 13:10:34

stickydancefloor

Had an online meeting this week with a recruitment agency.

It was all the usual questions until she asked me about the role I held previous to my current one...

"So you were there for 7 years?"
"Yes that's right"
"Who do you keep in touch with from there?"
"Well, no-one nowadays"
"Why's that?"
"I think that's natural when you move onto a new employer that you gradually lose touch with your old colleagues"
But why don't you keep in touch with them?"
"Like I said, we drifted after I left, I think that's quite normal really"
"So you don't speak to any of them?"
"No, it was 7 years ago I left there"
"But why don't you speak to them anymore?"
"Because I'd moved on and things change when you move on and aren't at the same employer"
"So you don't keep in touch with anyone there?"
"NO!!!"

Round and round in a circle!!!!! It was most bizarre!!!!

What the strangest questions you've had from a recruiter?!

I had something very similar to this. I eventually asked why they wanted to know and turns out they were trying to do recruitment for the company I used to work for and wanted a contact to get in there. I used to work for a very prestigious car company. Maybe they were trying the same?

FoxyTheFox Tue 11-May-21 13:11:34

"If you could have a dinner party with anyone at all, alive or dead, who would it be and why?" I was hmm as it was so out of place after the previous questions about competencies.

"Is your husband supportive of you working full time?" and several variations on "do you juggle childcare between you?/do you have family who help?/how do you manage childcare?" even though they're not allowed to ask. Before I quit work altogether I noticed a trend where, instead of asking these sorts of questions in the interview, they would ask them conversationally at the start or end as if they were just making small talk and not fishing for information.

Happyoldbat Tue 11-May-21 13:15:02

I was asked what I would do if I got married and my husband didn’t want me to work. I said I couldn’t imagine marrying the sort of man who thought like that. This was in the 1980s and it was a large professional firm who should have known better.

PhilCornwall1 Tue 11-May-21 13:16:37

Strangest one I had from the interviewer

Interviewer: "could you see yourself being friends with me?"

Me: " No, as you'd be a colleague and I don't mix my work and personal lives."

Other person interviewing me laughed.

Bluesheep8 Tue 11-May-21 13:17:40

but I do remember probably 20 years ago being asked if I had children and whether or not I planned to have any.

I came to say exactly this!! I was 25.

user1471548941 Tue 11-May-21 13:21:03

The recruiter has probably been targeting your previous employer as a sales target and has been tasked with getting a number of names of employees that they can then chase on LinkedIn/email.

I had a very brief spell out of university in a recruitment firm and I used to have ridiculous targets like “get 20 names from X company” so that they can essentially cold call.

cannotchange Tue 11-May-21 13:22:27

Asked what my childcare arrangements were for the school holidays

listsandbudgets Tue 11-May-21 13:24:52

"Tell me why has it been your life long dream to be a data inputter?"

"I haven't - I mean,, I don't mind data input and I'm fairly good at it but I can't say I've ever dreamt about it."

"But that's what it says on your application form - here"

Turned out the bl**dy recruitment agency had amended my application!! I was furious (and I didn't get the job which looking back was a relief.)

giraffelonglegs Tue 11-May-21 13:27:33

I was asked when I planned to start a family. This was over 20 years ago but still pretty shocking!

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