Possible inappropriate job interview question?
April 22, 2013 6:08 AM Subscribe
Had a job interview over a week ago and can't get a couple of the questions out of my head
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The job was for a telephone crisis counsellor. It was with a prominent mental illness organisation in Australia.
Questions at hand:
1) Have you been exposed to or experienced mental illness in the past? (Opened ended question where a response other than yes/no was required)
2) What is the hardest mental experience you have faced? (Opened ended question that was followed up with more questions about the experience after I answered it)
-I don't take much issue with question one - I understanding their reasoning for this question, I just would have preferred it to be a yes/no answer, but I do understand it's value.
- I do take issue with question two. I didn't want to answer it, but because I was in an interview setting I felt pressure to answer the question. I lost a friend to suicide six months ago - I don't talk about it regularly, but when I do it's because I want to - not because I have been forced to discuss it. Once I answered the question the interviewer asked three more questions about my friend and how I coped afterwards.
I don't think my reluctance to answer the question makes me any less capable of performing the job. I believe that I have a right to keep my personal life personal. If anything, I believe a distinction between personal information and work information is highly valued in this field of work. I think the reason why I feel so uncomfortable about it, is because I felt like my personal (and painful) experiences are being used as some form of commodity - I know that may sound irrational, but that's what it felt like.
1) Were these questions OK? (particularly the second question)
2) Are these questions something I will face on a regular basis (working in mental health)?
3) If so, is there a way I can answer these questions without getting too personal and without limiting my performance in the interview?
It may be important to note - I am very new in the field - I completed my psychology degree at the end of last year and have only been doing interviews for the last three months or so. Although I have been asked by other organisations about my dealings with mental health they have been yes/no answers and even more general than the ones asked in this interview. The point is, I don't know whether this was appropriate, I didn't feel good about it after the interview, and I need to know if I need to suck it up and get used to it.