What’s the most unusual question you’ve ever been asked during a job interview? During a pre-NFL-draft interview last week, Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland asked former Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant, “Is your mother a prostitute?”
"No, my mom is not a prostitute,” Bryant told a reporter. “I got mad -- really mad -- but I didn't show it.”
Ireland’s interview question was the hottest topic on ESPN, sports talk radio, and sports blogs for several days. Then stories began to surface about inappropriate interview questions directed at other top draft prospects. Standout defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was asked, “Do you play in a G-string or a jock strap?” Safety Myron Rolle, who skipped his senior year at Florida State to study at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, was questioned about what it felt like to desert his team. Toby Gerhart, who was second in the Heisman trophy voting, was asked if being a white running back made him feel “entitled.”
Outspoken Kyle Turley, a former NFL lineman, offered his two cents about Ireland’s interview question to Bryant, “I don’t care who you are or who you’re talking to – that kind of question usually gets your [expletive] teeth kicked in.” And, in the real world, questions about G-strings and feelings of racial entitlement can get you sued.
While NFL executives may not live in the real world, you do. Make sure your hiring managers are properly trained how to interview job candidates. Give them guidance and perhaps even an outline of questions to ensure consistency in the interview process. Let them know what questions and subjects are taboo. Put them through mock interviews as part of the education process. Aside from legal concerns, a professional, well-structured interview that casts your company in a positive light is an effective recruitment tool.