27. [If there are gaps in your career history:] Why weren’t you working during this period?
Kristina Hiltmair has a tip for answering this question: “Prepare carefully for this question so that you don’t seem surprised. In my experience, being honest about this has the most lasting impact. Always bear in mind that taking time for yourself to develop and find your own path is a sign of strength, not weakness.”
28. Could you complete this exercise for us? (Exercise is read out/displayed, e.g. How many golf balls would fit in a school bus?)
HR Manager Kristina Hiltmair recommends for this type of interview questions: “When it comes to this type of brainteaser questions, it’s worth taking your time reading through and reflecting on the question. Let the interviewer into your thought process because, in many cases, it’s not finding the right solution that matters (if there even is one!) but rather how you handle the question, approach the task and find a logical justification for your answer.
Illegal Interview Questions
29. What is your family situation and what are your family plans for the immediate future?
MBS Career Center Manager Stephanie Stangl says: “Recruiters are not permitted to ask this question in Germany. You do not have to answer it. In fact, the recruiter might even have asked you this question to see how much you know about German labor law – especially if you’re interviewing for a job in human resources. Stay calm and self-assured. For example, you might ask why this information is relevant to the position, or point out that asking this question is not permitted. Depending on how the company reacts and how you feel, you would be entirely justified in decided against the company based on this.
Here are a few other taboo questions in interviews:
- What is your faith/religion?
- Where do you come from?
- How old are you?
- What is your sexual orientation?
- Do you have any debts?
- Have you ever spent time in prison?
- Are you often ill?
- Are you a member of a political party?
To Conclude: Your Own Interview Questions
30. Do you have any other questions?
HR expert Kristina Hiltmair has a tip for answering this question: “Congratulations! You made it to the end of the interview. But don’t start heading for the door just yet. You always need to have at least one question ready to ask at this point! The opportunity to pose a question of your own is both a test and an opportunity. You can demonstrate your interest in the job, find out more about your prospective employer and clear up anything you’re uncertain about. Positive examples of questions you can ask in an interview include questions about professional development opportunities, the company’s areas of specialization, or topics from the interview to which you’d like to circle back. However, you should avoid direct questions about salary increases, promotions and similar topics.”