I recently went for an interview but one of the people on the panel asked me if I had been interviewed by any other company. I felt this was intrusion and declined to answer the question. She accused me of being arrogant and I was dismissed from the interview room. What did I do any wrong? Enock

Before you take offense and point out that the question was invasion of privacy, consider the interviewer’s intent. Sometimes, hiring teams ask prying questions because they are trying to prevent previous negative experiences brought about by wrong hiring decisions.

You will not get hired if you misread the interviewer’s intentions and overreact. Normally interviewers who ask dumb questions are making thoughtless small talk without thinking through the implications. It is also true that sometimes hiring teams are manipulative and discriminative in nature. That aside, most interview panels want to see how you handle delicate situations, so here is the perfect chance for you to demonstrate your judgement and tact.

Asking about whether you had been interviewed by any other company is not categorised among the topics which are off-limits. Illegal interview questions are those based on areas such as genetics, colour, sex, race and ancestry. Even if you perceived the question as having the intent to discriminate against you, you actually cast doubt on yourself for no reason at all. Unless there is information you did not want to be revealed I do not see what offended you.

The question was as innocent as the answer because it is through your answer that you could have been considered for the job. I think you were just being unnecessarily paranoid or you are a suspicious person by nature because for starters how else do you expect to find a job unless you are interviewed by prospective employers?

Solomon Muhiirwa
Human Resource Manager
NTV Uganda
[email protected]