A Second Look at Questions NOT to ask at an interview

After we posted this funny list of “Questions NOT to ask” someone I was talking with asked me seriously when he could ask some of these questions and it set me thinking. Some of these questions are legitimate but asked at an inappropriate time and in an inappropriate manner. So how and when would we ask them?

1.What’s your company’s policy on severance pay?

Severance policy – If you are interviewing with an organization that has been through some significant restructuring this could be a significant concern and it would be an appropriate question to ask when negotiations are taking place around a job offer and would need to be differently phrased.

2. How long does it take your company’s bureaucracy to get around to firing somebody for poor performance?

Performance reviews – If you are a managerial candidate you will often be asked a question about how you manage the process. If asked the question then requesting details of their process would not be inappropriate.

3. Do you have a random drug testing policy?

I can’t think of a reason to ask this one.

4. Does your company’s life insurance cover suicide?

Or this one

5. How in depth are your criminal background checks?

Or even this one

6. Does your company’s insurance consider genital herpes a pre-existing condition?

Health benefits – Reconfigured this question without the condition description (that’s what makes it funny, I know) would be appropriate to ask when negotiations are taking place around a job offer

7. How many sick days do you allow each employee before you stop paying them for not being here?

Health benefits – The same answer as the response to question 6

8. Does your insurance cover sex-change operations?


9. Does your internet access have a firewall that blocks pornographic websites?

No way!

10. How frequently do your accountants audit petty cash?

Absolutely no way

I realize that this is a tongue in cheek response to a serious question but sometimes there are good reasons to ask semi-silly questions.

Good hunting


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