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Old 01-11-2013, 12:16 PM   #21
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Years ago I conducted many interviews with potential new hires. The list of questions that HR insisted on being asked were usually pretty lame and I would ask my own, open ended questions in order to get the person to talk about themselves. My main concern(s) were; their work ethic, ability to fit in and work together with others as well as their ability. It always amazed me how poorly people with college educations came across during the interview process.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:22 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Lazarus View Post
Last interview was 25 years ago. None of that silliness.
+1. Glad I'm retired.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:34 PM   #23
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Aside from some of the ridiculous structured interview questions, nowadays many companies want applicants to complete an online psychological profile, where they ask questions that have answers that are obviously what the company wants to hear, as well as some pretty silly choices, what a waste of time and $s.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:45 PM   #24
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Aside from some of the ridiculous structured interview questions, nowadays many companies want applicants to complete an online psychological profile, where they ask questions that have answers that are obviously what the company wants to hear, as well as some pretty silly choices, what a waste of time and $s.
Psychological profile? OMG! I'd never have been hired.

A few of the questions make sense for very specific situations, especially in high tech, but mostly I suspect they help interviewers feel they are actually doing something useful.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #25
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My last interview was 30 years ago; there's no way I would ever be hired if those are the kinds of questions asked now. Very glad to be retired.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:18 PM   #26
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On the other side of the coin, DW sat on an interview board for an administrative position in a state government job. One of the rules was that all questions had to be determined prior to interviewing any candidates, and under no circumstances could any candidate be asked a question that deviated from the list. To ask one a different question from the others was not being "fair." Our tax dollars at work, I suppose.
I was going to say "imagine being the person forced to ask these questions of interviewees instead of pertinent relevant questions". Hiring is the same way where I work. When we used to hire people.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #27
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My worst interview was with the largest oil company run by the dutch. The 1 hr interview was bad enough, talking about building a pretend space station or something stupid, but then they were to expand on it and make it last an entire day for those able to hurdle over their first interview. I hoped in the town car on the way to airport, hoping I would get an offer from another company so I wouldn't have to work for those clowns.

The behavioral questions are easy, once you understand how they work...I did on campus and on site interviews for ex-megacorp. If you have a good interviewer, they make them easy on you.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:38 PM   #28
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The dumbest interview question I have ever had posed to me... "If you could be any kind of a ball, what kind of ball would you be?" I told the person that I had no desire to be a ball. The interview ended shortly thereafter and I did not get the job. On the other hand, at that point I did not want the job anyway if this individual was an example of the dimwits I would have to w&*k with.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:30 PM   #29
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:10 PM   #30
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"A brass ball, and not just one but a pair!".
There once a man from Madras
whose balls were made out of brass.
When he banged them together
they played "Stormy Weather"
and lightning shot out of his a**!

I just highjacked my own post.
You're welcome.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:25 PM   #31
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I have had only one position interview in my life. And I got the position.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:22 PM   #32
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Where do they come up with these idiotic questions?
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:27 PM   #33
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I had to put up with these questions during a job interview in '09 - for a job I had held for 29 years. Yeah, I told them what they wanted to hear. Now I would love to have the opportunity to have such an interview. What a difference a few years and FI makes.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:34 PM   #34
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I looked through the list of the questions, and the following one seems quite reasonable to me, given that Trader Joe's is a small grocery chain that has quite a few gourmet items, and would expect its workers to know something about food.

"If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?" – Asked at Trader Joe's
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:42 PM   #35
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At my last interview I was interviewing with the GM. He looked at my w**k history, no read on an outcome. Than he looked my volunteer history, noted I was a Docent where his wife was a board member. Never talked about anything else for an hour, except how they loved The Desert Botanical Gardens in PHX. Got the job.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:22 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by GalaxyBoy View Post
On the other side of the coin, DW sat on an interview board for an administrative position in a state government job. One of the rules was that all questions had to be determined prior to interviewing any candidates, and under no circumstances could any candidate be asked a question that deviated from the list. To ask one a different question from the others was not being "fair." Our tax dollars at work, I suppose.
I can take that one further. In my police dept when there is an internal opening, someone wanting to transfer must be interviewed by a 3 person panel which must consist of one white person, one black person and one Hispanic person. Preferably one of them is a female. And yes, everyone must be asked the same list of pre-prepared questions. All of this is done because at some point in the past somebody complained that they didn't get the job because they were "insert wrong race or gender here"
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:45 PM   #37
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Some of these could make sense.

Quarters to reach the height of the Empire State building? It could be a measure of your ability to estimate (hmmm, a stack of maybe 6 quarters would be ~ an inch, how high is the Empire, divide by...), or ability to think creatively (some answers were zero, take the stairs; or $X - the cost of the elevator).

Quote:
"How many balls would it take to fill this room?" are designed to test your creativity, critical thinking, and how you handle pressure.
Here's my answer: OK, one answer would depend on the size of the balls, how you pack them, and a bunch of variables, but I will give a definitive answer - one. Picture a balloon that is spherical when inflated, and larger than this room. Deflate it, bring it into the room, and then inflate it until it fills the room. One ball.

The penguin/sombrero Q seems ridiculous, but what if the job is for comedy writer? But for an engineering position, it would be tough to not give a smart-alek answer - but then I'd tell them that's the answer they should expect from someone serious about helping them make money. Spending time considering a hypothetical stacked on other hypotheticals is a waste of resources.

A talking penguin wearing a sombrero? Why is he there, what does he say? To announce this is your drug test, and you just failed because you are hallucinating? And why do they assume the penguin is a 'he' - is that sexist? Turn it on the interviewer.

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Old 01-11-2013, 10:50 PM   #38
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I have had only one position interview in my life. And I got the position.
I take it that you are a doctor, if that is the case you must have forgotten about the interviews you had when you applied to medical school ( was that not a requirement?) and post graduate training. And most likely you are being interviewed everyday by patients deciding whether they want you to be their doctor.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:26 PM   #39
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I can take that one further. In my police dept when there is an internal opening, someone wanting to transfer must be interviewed by a 3 person panel which must consist of one white person, one black person and one Hispanic person. Preferably one of them is a female. And yes, everyone must be asked the same list of pre-prepared questions. All of this is done because at some point in the past somebody complained that they didn't get the job because they were "insert wrong race or gender here"
That's how HR selects our candidates to be interviewed. You get a slate of maybe 4 real candidates that are qualified to varying degrees and 3 candidates that fit specific diversity criteria along the dimensions you have mentioned. Judging from some strange hiring decisions I have witnessed over the years, these efforts to encourage diversity seem to be effective at achieving diversity. The organization had a similar reputation (and discrimination claim losses) so I guess this is their form of remedial effort to ensure equal opportunity for all.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:18 PM   #40
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What a bunch of crap! Of all these dumb a$$ questions the only one that is answerable to any degree was 18. "Calculate the angle of two clock pointers when time is 11:50." Asked at Bank of America, software developer candidate.

Being a very logical and analytical person I wouldn't know how to answer most of those and even those that would require analysis... just plain stupid.

In interviews we discussed what I have done and how I'd be qualified for the position. I've been on maybe 15 interviews but this was the 70's and 80's, no one asked stupid $hit like these questions!

I am SOOOOOOO glad I'm retired, I would never make it in todays job environment!
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