I am not cribbing about smoking, even I do smoke. The point that I want to make is that, how can the HR Head/Recruitment Head ask a Recruiter (interviewee). The interviewee is someone who I know, she told me that she had a cool interview and she told me how her interview happened. Still I have many questions in my mind. But I do not want make this a big issue.
From India, Bangalore
Please state what questions have you in mind. If I am right, the majority of the responses so far clearly state that it is unethical and that the sex of the interviwer/interviewee is immaterial. Do you think it would have been ok if the interviewer and interviewee were of the same sex or if the interviewer was a female and the interviewee a male?
From United Kingdom
something is very fishy ask your friend to run away as soon as possible and not join the company, run now itself as fast as she can.
From India, Madras
The issue is not about gender but about health. "Smoking is injurious to health". Any organization which promotes smoking so openly is certainly not health conscious!
From India, Bangalore

How can you are asking its wrong or correct . implement your knowledge as well before posting this type on unethical questions.
From India, Mumbai
If the interviewee does not have any problem, there is no harm, I can give you 2 examples.
1) My friend's boss is a chain smoker when he interviewed a male candidate he asked, do you mind if I smoke, the candidate refused and on selection he was of the opinion that his Boss would have offered him a cigar.
2) While he was conducting another interview wherein he asked the female candidate that do you mind if he smokes for which the female candidate took a cigar from her purse and smoke along with the boss.
Now tell us that in this situation what has to be done. If an interviewer gels with a candidate and is offering anything to the candidate male/female i.e. tea, coffee, cigar etc it depends upon the culture/atmosphere of that company. Moreover the candidate has to choose whether he/she has to join in such culture/atmosphere.

From India, Ahmadabad
There's is no reason why the Interviewee would be asked by the Interviewer for a smoke break or drinks break no matter whether the former is male or female. The question itself sounds odd & funny.
From India, Guwahati
Funny Comments.
It actually does not matter unless it affected the interview process, ie the candidate was selected cause she agreed to have a smoke with him / her. Lets not read too much into things and try to become moral policemen / policewomen. we should focus more on professional aspects.
Request don't take it amiss

From India, Delhi
I am a scientist having retired five years ago from a very senior position with responsibilities of international activities. That made me travel throughout the world for more than 40 times and see different cultures and work ethics around the globe. Nonetheless, I am and remained althrough like a simple minded Indian with somewhat broader outlook. As a fellow Indian, I would like to narrate my experience (and views) related to the theme of the question and various comments offered by learned members before me.

As most others here, I have always found Indian women smoking freely anywhere or in the company of men very obnoxious and utterly dislike heart-in-heart. On the other hand, I can easily accept similar things by European ladies in Europe as quite normal. I am also never moved when I meet male smokers anywhere even though I subscribe to the adage 'Smoking is injurious to health', For me smoking or not is a matter of personal choice and I would never like to obstruct someone's personal liberty on moral grounds.

Having said, I may now tell that many years ago, I worked for the British Council in India where almost all staff including very senior ones like me were all Indians, except the top boss a few others as expats. Like most other international organisations, British Council maintains a very high standard of work ethics with equal emphasis on gender, human rights etc. It maintained a totally non-smoking environment within the office premises. But it was free for all during occasional parties in the lawns with drinks flowing freely. Everyone who wanted to smoke, smoked freely irrespective of gender but that was in the parties in the lawn below.

As a male with typical Indian background and upbringing, I got my first shock when I saw several of my senior female colleagues smoking during office hours close to me. I had never seen such things before and found it hard to believe and accept. Gradually, I realised that I was in a special place and the Indian ladies I was in the company of were elite and from very advanced families and the organisation in which we were standing stands for 'personal liberty' to all human being irrespective of gender, cast, creed etc. Since the office had a policy to maintain a strict non-smoking area, all those who got urge to smoke or otherwise need a break would simply get up from their seats and go outside the glass in open corridor or balconies. We could see off and on someone (male or female) standing outside the glass and taking the smoke. It did not appear odd any longer. In fact, I used to join them quite often for a chat, since it was easy to converse during those moments.

In such atmosphere and culture, offering a smoke represented 'courtesy' and nothing else. It was between male and female, Indian and British, senior and junior - no questions, no tags!

In Indian situation - of course, we need long debates and diversity of views! Don't we?

From India, New Delhi
I had given an Interview last Monday then the Interviewee asked me you drink. For one sec i thought why he was asking this then i clearly told him yes sir I drink water,milk,juice everyday.
From India, Noida

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