Thursday, 21 April 2016

Weird Interview Questions

This was something I found from reading over decades old blog posts that I had written and saved on my computer (which is both an amusing and melancholy experience - 'the past is a different land' and all that...). I was sent some weird interview questions by a friend and asked to answer them. And so for a little bit of surreal fun this Thursday away.... (this is how wacky I was at 23. My how serious I have become in my old age)..

20 Weird Interview Questions
By Edsters & Aureala

Work Attitude

1. Would you be happy working in an office where the sanity of your colleagues cannot be guaranteed?

Answer: only if knives were not involved..or explosives…or…spicy food.

2. If it takes five people to write five reports in five days, how many hours of overtime are you willing to work in order to do all five reports in one day?

Answer: I would be willing to sacrifice a little of my salary to buy an android to do it all.

3. When dealing with difficult situations at work, would you say that you take on a role more akin to that of a duck-billed platypus or a ring-tailed lemur? Why?

Answer: Ring-tailed lemur. I tend to swing from one crisis to another and I never waddle around the office like a platypus would. I strut.

4. We're concerned that you only want this job to earn money, gain valuable work experience, and offer us the benefit of your skills and expertise. What can you say to prove us wrong?

Answer: This job is just the first step in my master plan to conquer one industry at a time and then eventually rule the world like the crazy megalomaniac I really am.

5. What do you consider to be your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), and what benefits do you think our company will gain from owning you?

Answer: Owning me will seriously raise your street cred. I am one funky lemur.

6. Do you consider that you usually take a proactive approach to your work? So why are you sitting here waiting for us to offer you a job?

Answer: I suppose I could rip the job from your hands like a Spartan warrior. I was just trying to be nice.

7. What is it about working that appeals to you, rather than, say, running away to sea, or starting your own island nation in the South Pacific?

Answer: I suppose working gives me the chance to use my brain on dry land where there are no savage tribes roaming the jungles.

8. Do you pick out mistakes on restaurant menus? If so, how might your pedantry affect your future performance at our company? If not, to what cause do you attribute your deplorable deficiency in your powers of observation, and what are you going to do about it?

Answer: I may not pick out mistakes on a menu, but I will still be useful to a company because this means I eat anything put in front of me, including company secrets and sensitive data documents that need to be shredded.

Personality Questions

9. If you were a biscuit, what kind of biscuit would you be?

Answer: A hobnob. Crumbly and delicious.

10. Are you now, or have you ever been, the kind of person to move someone else's cheese? How do you justify your behaviour?

Answer: If I move someone else’s cheese it is because they have not kept it away from the mice.

11. What's the one thing about you that you really wouldn't want us to know?

Answer: I have x-ray vision and can see through your underwear.

12. If your house were on fire, what's the first thing you'd take out, and why? How can you prove that your answer is your true one and not, say, something carefully thought up so that we would think you had a nice, well-balanced personality?

Answer: My Star Trek fridge magnets and that fact right there should tell you I’m not lying.

Thinking Outside the Box

13. What did the ugly duckling say to the rubber duck?

Answer: My god! Have you had a facelift?

14. Please describe your employment history in a witty allegorical tale involving characters drawn from Aesop's fables.

Answer: I was a camel working in an urban jungle with only a bored turtle and overactive hare for company. They decided to have a race. I sat back, put my feet up and pelted them with pistachio shells.

15. Please give three examples of times when you've used your interpersonal skills to settle a major international conflict.

Answer: I was there with the 300 at the battle of Thermopylae, and with the Russians in Stalingrad and in Baghdad with the American army when Sadam was arrested. Unfortunately nobody listened to me at any of the occasions and so international conflict continued. It is hard to be taken seriously when you look like a mix between a camel and a lemur.

16. We like employees who are prepared for any eventuality. What would your plan of action be if a massive comet - similar to the putative comet that wiped out the dinosaurs - slammed into the Earth one Tuesday afternoon, two days before a major deadline?

Answer: I suppose I might be tempted to die, charred and molded to the computer keyboard. But on second thoughts I would probably make the deadline in my emergency underground bunker.

17. It is a strange, but true, fact that 'Elvis' is an anagram of 'lives'. Describe your closest encounter with the King of Rock and Roll, and state your theory as to his current whereabouts. Please be warned that the management is firm in the belief that Elvis lives, and that any mention of the words 'death', 'died', 'deceased' or 'graveyard' in concurrence with the King will result in your immediately being shot. Sorry, did I say shot? I meant fired. Only I haven't hired you yet. OK, shot it is.

Answer: Elvis lives in my wardrobe. I’m sorry but in the interests of National Security that is as much as I can say.

18. Can you recite the whole of 'Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers' backwards, and repeat it three times?

Answer: Only if you buy me a drink first.

Metaphysical Conundrums

19. What did you do with the peanut?

Answer: I chewed it up and now its gone.

20. Do you think these questions are leading anywhere?

Answer: I don't know about you, but these questions are leading me to greatness.

And finally, because any list of 20 questions always comes with a bonus question:

Are You Paying Attention?

21. I have in my lunchbox the following: an ostrich egg and watercress sandwich made with pumperhumperdumpernickel bread; a cup of Nearly Instant Tomato Potato Soup; a multigrain, multiberry muffin; a packet of Oreos from the Dawn of Time; a banana with 'a.m.' written on it (for my Mid-Morning Banana Break); another banana with 'p.m.' written on it (for my Late Luncheon Banana Break); three cream crackers escorted by a scantily decorated tub of cream cheese; and a Warbly Marbly Black 'n' White ChocoBar. Please estimate the precise calorific value of my lunchbox (excluding its contents), to the nearest 0.001 of a kilocalorie.

Answer: I'm sorry. What's a calorie?

To be honest these aren't that far off some of the strangest questions I have actually been asked in a job interview. After a short discussion, Mr C and I compiled a list of some of the questions we have been asked during interviews over the last few years that we did not expect to hear:

'What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?' (how is this the business of an interviewer?!!)
'What defines you?' (how are you supposed to answer this question? 'Well, I'm a human. I'm female. I'm a mammal.')
'Have you ever done anything illegal?'
'Why were you paid so much in your last job?'
'Why were you paid so little in your last job?'
'Have you ever lied to your employer?'
'Where do you see yourself in a year? Would you want my job?'
'How would you feel about feeding my cat when I am on holiday?'
'Do you always wear your hair that long?'
'Why would someone like you, want a job like this?'
'Are you thinking about having children?' (are you f**king kidding me?! Are you actually going to ask me this question? You know it is technically illegal to ask me this kind of question in an interview, right?)
'Are you married?'
'Do you ever cycle?'
'Is there anything you have spectacularly failed at?'

Interviews are strange and the questions you get asked often don't actually reveal much about yourself to the prospective employer. Basically it comes down to whether the interviewer likes you and thinks he/she can work with you. So it is all based on subjective opinion, impression and assumption, rather than experience, qualifications, expertise or credentials. As my wise and beloved grandfather used to say: 'If you walk into the room for a job interview and you have brown eyes and the interviewer has blue, you're not going to get the job.'

This does not seem to apply to marriage luckily as my brown eyes are firmly partnered with Mr C's baby blues in a bond of holy matrimony for the foreseeable future. :)