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Ridiculous & evil interview questions

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by Hellsbells, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. Jon-of-arc

    Jon-of-arc Trigger warning - BANG!

    Did you go away and write this?

    Here are Google, Amazon and Facebook's Secrets to Hiring the Best People | The Cooper Review

    (See point 5 - probably don't bother with the rest, it's not as funny as it thinks it is...)
    Puddy_Tat likes this.
  2. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

  3. hash tag

    hash tag Pedicabo omnes

    On a similar vein; in Liars Poker (about Salomon's) Michael Lewis recounts how on the 30th floor (or howvere high), HR did their interviews. They were often asked to open the (sealed) window and the interviewer used to watch to see how long someone would struggle to open a sealed window.
    One day, a person was asked to open the window, quickly found he couldn't so picked up a chair and threw it through the window.
    likesfish and cupid_stunt like this.
  4. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

    There should be a version of this thread where we all have to answer the questions people post.

  5. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

    Last book?

    Clearly you should answer The Prince, unless the interview is for a public sector role, and then it's The Trial.
    RubyToogood likes this.
  6. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

    I didn't think MI5 used agencies.
    cupid_stunt likes this.
  7. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

    Just heading in to what I suspect will be a competency based interview. What are your biggest successes was one of the application questions. I didn't write an application, it seems they're desperate to hire some so I got the interview via an agency.

    I'm not sure I have any successes in the area the job is in...
  8. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    I'd hate the 'success' question. How are we measuring success - with money, awards? neither apply to my work. No idea what to say that any employer would want to hear. 'I helped organise a parade of 40,000 queer people' I'm loved' or 'I'm still alive' ?

    or indeed the 'biggest failure' question - that sounds even worse.

    Actually if any employer asked either question I don't think I want to work for them.

    Anyway good luck stuff_it hope it went well.
    A380 likes this.
  9. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    Often an HR dept will want to know what your asking candidates so that everyone is asked the same. 'Ridiculous Evil Questions' ought to be filtered out by that process. If not then really they're just exhibiting the willful creativity of the manager.

    Most jobs are really about your competencies and ought to come out of the standard 30 interview questions. Obviously secondary questions can follow with more nuance.
  10. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    hope it went well

    may be late for this occasion, but with competency based stuff, skills / experience / achievements outside paid work can sometimes be relevant, e.g. caring responsibilities, voluntary work, study and so on.

    depends how job specific they are looking for...

    friendofdorothy likes this.
  11. KatyF

    KatyF Well-Known Member

    The one I get every single time is "So tell me what you know about the company".

    I hate it. Mind you, I once didn't get a job as they'd seen on Twitter that I said I didnt like that question and took it personally. Like they were the only company to ask it.

    The other one is after they ask my interests and I say live music and comedy, they go straight for "oh who is your favourite comedian". Now depending on how the interview is going and whether I'm interested in the job will depend on how I answer that. One guy made me keep going until I named someone he'd heard of.
    friendofdorothy and cupid_stunt like this.
  12. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    In fairness that is an absolute standard interview question that you should always have a response ready for. You should always do your research on the company / institution you are applying for a role with.

    It doesn't look great if you are applying to work for a company you don't know anything about.
  13. Fruitloop

    Fruitloop communism will win

  14. When I was 18 went for a job at Innovations (the people who did them Sunday supplements of gadgets), they had a store in Richmond and went for a job; trouble was I didn’t check what it was for, (salesman), and got really stoned before I went. At one point he asked me how I’d sell some old bit of rubbish to a customer and all I could do was shrug at him, I had no idea what the thing was and couldn’t even raise the enthusiasm to have a stab at the bullshit.

    Didn’t get the job.
    A380, friendofdorothy, Teaboy and 2 others like this.
  15. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    Ah the old classic sales interview question: 'Sell me this stapler / hole punch / calculator etc'.

    An absolute crock of shit which has absolutely zero relevance to being successful in the vast majority of sales jobs.* Normally the go to interview question for fat old man who spent most of their sales career brow beating house wives into buying vacuum cleaners on their doorsteps (just to make him go away) in the 70's and 80's.

    *It has got Alan Sugar 13 series though in fairness.
    A380 and muscovyduck like this.
  16. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    "what three words would your mum use to describe you?"

    I asked my mum, she didn't know :D
  17. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    A genuine accident
    A380, RubyToogood, Silas Loom and 2 others like this.
  18. smmudge

    smmudge It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it

    "Describe a time you went above and beyond/exceeded expectations"

    Four years later I still can't think of an answer for that.
    friendofdorothy likes this.
  19. Teaboy

    Teaboy It definitely looks brighter over there..

    This one time at band camp.............

    In all honesty though that's a terrible interview question, just terrible.
  20. existentialist

    existentialist Spartacus? No, never heard of him.

    I'd want to know whose expectations, just for a start. If it was my own, then getting into work on time most mornings would count, though this wouldn't score many interview points...
    smmudge, Puddy_Tat and Thimble Queen like this.
  21. a_chap

    a_chap A closed mouth gathers no feet

    Given that, after 20 years and at the end of this year, I'm being made redundant this thread is filling me with a mixture of dread and hilarity.

    I suspect that, as an interviewee, my technique is likely to be, er, a bit unusual.
    A380 likes this.
  22. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh


    at the risk of telling you stuff you already know, CAB advice about redundancy here

    national careers service here - they offer advice to all ages, not like the old 'careers service' that used to be aimed at school leavers. some employers who are working towards a lot of redundancies will get NCS people in to talk to staff before the redundancies happen.

    i think you're allowed some time off current job for job hunting during the notice period, although you need to watch that you don't get in to a position where you need to leave old job too early to get redundancy payment (i'm not quite sure what the law is - one place i worked that was closing down, you could leave within the last 4 weeks and still get redundancy pay, but i'm not sure if this is law, or it's something negotiated locally.)

    and urban job hunting thread here
    a_chap likes this.

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