Women Share The Strange, Sexist Questions They Were Asked During Job Interviews (15 Stories)

Even though there’s not supposed to be discrimination in the workplace, we all know that isn’t the case. And one of the places where discrimination against women is most overt is during the job interview.

On Reddit, women who encountered discrimination during their job interviews are sharing the bonkers personal questions they were asked that they’re sure men weren’t.

Some are pretty obvious questions like, “are you going to have kids” but others are more bizarre, relating to tattoos, recipes, and even their menstrual cycle.

1. “Are you married?”

“All kinds of questions regarding my marriage status, if/when I plan to marry, if/when I plan to have children and how I would organize childcare for the hypothetical children. All of those questions are illegal where I live, by the way, and I refused to answer them. I didn’t get those jobs, in case that wasn’t obvious. I have also heard multiple people openly admit (outside of job interviews) that they don’t like to hire women of a certain age (because ALL of them get pregnant and who has the money for that kind of hassle – we have a right to paid parental leave and a return to your previous position here) or mothers because they are unreliable and won’t do overtime. Hiring men of the same age or fathers came with none of those concerns. But ‘I have to understand them. They need to make money. They don’t have anything against women!’ The fun fact: I don’t have or want children. I still get ‘punished’ just for having the biological setup to do so.” — Meretneith

2. “Why are your parents divorced?”

“At 21, interviewing for medical school, this like 80 year old man asks me why I have two addresses listed. When I explained that one was my legal address but I was living with the other parent at the moment (mailing address) because I was working closer to their house. He asked me so many questions about my parents divorce despite me changing the subject several times, like that had anything to do with my ability to be a doctor. Then he asked me ethical questions and was an ass about every answer, telling me get aggressively how wrong my opinions were. I talked to one of the guys that interviewed with him the same day and they had a totally normal conversation based about his resume & application. If you’re wondering if the problem was in fact my application and not my gender, I’m now a physician and through training have been the team member voted to have difficult conversations with families.” — MintyFreshHippo

3. “I see you are engaged…”

“‘I see an engagement ring, do you want children soon because I advise you to wait at least a year if you get the job. I don’t think it is good to train you only for you to go on maternity leave.’ Words spoken by a recruiter, highly illegal. Nothing I could do against him with zero proof.” — Laurylizzle

4. “Will you be comfortable in an all male team?”

“‘As a woman do you think that you will be capable of doing the job?’ ‘Will you be comfortable in an all male team?'” — RosalindFranklinDNA

5. “Are you okay with light sexual harassment?”

“I’ve definitely had the pregnancy/marriage, etc. questions, but I remember an interview I had with a random company while I was just searching for any job I could get because I needed a job, and the people who interviewed me were the owner of the company and the two women I would be working with. After getting through my skills, they asked me if I was okay with swearing, I said sure, then they asked me if I was a ‘snowflake, because a lot of young people are nowadays.’ They also basically told me that, since I would be working with a lot of middle-aged and older men, I would just need to deal with some light sexual harassment and that they wouldn’t be doing anything about it because ‘that’s how it’s always been.'” — cookiescoop

6. “Can you cook?”

“‘Can you cook? Tell me how you’d make this sauce. Tell me the recipe of xyz…’ I was interviewing for a software engineer role. Thankfully I do cook and could tell him but wtf?” — rxr92

7. “What’s a pretty girl like you doing here?”

“I’m a small-ish, conventionally attractive woman who works in forestry and farming, and have often been the only woman in my department or facility working with a bunch of blue collar guys. In pretty much every interview I’ve had, me being a young woman who isn’t ugly has come up. Sometimes in a good way that makes it clear they understand challenges I may face. Learning to work around almost exclusively men can be very difficult, and in some situations your supervisor will need to be prepared to enforce your right to be there. A good supervisor for a woman in that situation understands this, talks about it with her as necessary, and lays down the law. I’ve also had it put to me in a very degrading way. Jokes about ‘what’s a pretty girl like you doing applying for work like this.’ Statements that make it clear that if there are culture problems, they will be my problem. Even just being hit on enough that I had to leave the interview.” — suffragette_citizen

8. “Are you single?”

“In this case, I was actually the interviewer, and I was running my organization’s information table at a job fair. I was talking with three students–2 women, 1 man–they were law students in their early/mid 20s, I was a lawyer in my early 30s, so it was a pretty casual conversation. I asked the group ‘any other questions for me, about the organization or about being a lawyer in general?’ and the guys asks ‘Are you single? Haha, just kidding.’ I was honestly so thrown off, I just half-laughed and said, ‘Nope, married and pregnant with my first child.’ This was a few years ago, but I wish I had had the presence of mind in the moment to say, ‘That’s completely inappropriate. You need to leave.’ If I had, I think he would have learned an important lesson, and I would have set a positive example for the 2 women there. Later in the day, once things slowed down and I had a minute to think, I just threw his resume away…and the next day wished I hadn’t because I could also have emailed him that feedback.” — Ginger_ish

9. “Do you play video games?”

“I did a bunch of interviews to work as a programmer in the video game industry. This is a very male-dominated field. Every time they ended up asking if I played video games, and if I liked it. Some of my males friends were doing interviews at the same time, and they were never asked this question. I had to prove that I was ‘one of them,’ and it was somewhat infuriating.” — Elystrya

10. “Is your period regular?”

“If my period was regular. My supposed to be boss was a 40-year-old guy. Awkward af. I was 19.” — thelostpinay