How to Handle Rude Interview Questions

point finger at you

Many hiring managers choose to follow the rude questioning interview technique either because they want to test the candidate’s abilities or they are just plain rude. Most often, rude questions are being asked as part of the play, a deliberate act that is used to test your reaction and responses to this kind of questions.

Without a doubt, job interviews can be very intimidating, especially when you are in front of an interviewer who looks like the one on the photo! However, if you know how to respond back and manage to turn the question around then you can gain the advantage during the interview and get the job!

If interviewers are being disagreeable or offensive, perhaps you could follow the following strategies:

#1 Keep your sense of humor

If you are ever confronted with rude questions or comments make sure you show your sense of humor when you respond back. This way you will be able to turn the situation around and get the upper hand. Interviewers won’t be expecting that so you will surprise them with your intelligence, determination and your ability to get what you want. Obviously this will require quick-thinking and being in alert!

#2 Respond with a compliment

You may be asking why you would want to respond with a compliment when the interviewers are basically insulting you, though this technique can be quite successful. So if the interviewer makes insults about your current employer by saying “isn’t everyone who works at the company lazy?” you could respond with something like “I agree, which is why I am leaving to work for a company like yours”. However, you need to be careful with this kind of compliment answers because you don’t want to say anything negative about your current employer.

#3 Turn the question around

There are some great techniques you can use to deal with a grumpy interviewer as an attempt to turn the question around.  You can:

  • Change the subject by responding with a statement that showcases your key strengths such as creativity, leadership or good work ethic.
  • Pretend you didn’t hear the rude comment, take a pause and continue talking about your skills.
  • Respond with a question in regards to the organisation in order to focus on the purpose of the meeting.
  • Ask for further clarification when interviewer keeps interrupting or contradicting you, e.g. “Could you please explain what you mean by..?”  

#4 Say no politely

In case the employer continues to make insulting remarks, you should know that you have the right to refuse politely. So if you are presented with a question you don’t want to answer, you don’t have to do it. In the end, you may realise you don’t want the job and you definitely don’t want to work with them anyway.

See also: How to Handle Tough Interview Questions

Handling rude job interview questions effectively requires good preparation and always being on guard. So if this ever happens to you – hopefully not, now you know how to handle the situation and turn it to your advantage.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation such as this during a job interview? Let us know by leaving your comments below.