Author Topic: Job Interview Questions  (Read 3393 times)

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Offline j3ff

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2012, 07:50:42 PM »
I was also asked how many dollar bills it would take to reach the top of the world trade center. This was after September 11, and that hr department had not updated the question. The answer they wanted was 'well the building is roughly this high and a dollar is six inches long....'. I replied with '0 the building is gone'


Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2012, 07:50:46 PM »
I was once asked how many gummy bears can fit inside a 747.  I replied with a question.  'How many do you need me to get in there, and can I melt them and fill the fuel tanks or can I only use the cabin and the storage area?' The interviewer felt it was a good answer.
Bet the interviewer never considered that level of craftiness...that was a scary good answer. Did it really happen?  :chef:
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2012, 07:52:43 PM »
I was also asked how many dollar bills it would take to reach the top of the world trade center. This was after September 11, and that hr department had not updated the question. The answer they wanted was 'well the building is roughly this high and a dollar is six inches long....'. I replied with '0 the building is gone'
End to end or stacked...how did you know what they wanted?
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Offline j3ff

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2012, 08:08:46 PM »
End to end or stacked...how did you know what they wanted?

Had the building still been there I would have asked just that.... just like with the gummy bear.

I find they are just trying to see how you think with these questions.  College is easy to finish. Being useful at a job is much more difficult. Its why I laugh at every study I read about business from people who never ran or even worked at one.

Offline j3ff

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2012, 08:21:10 PM »
There were many times in my career I was dispatched to resolve an issue, but had to call my boss and report 'I can resolve it before new hardware arrives, but to do so this this and this comes offline' which is more important?'

I saw it as it was my job to present all options, even the dumb ones because those were the ones management seemed to prefer, then implement what they choose.  When they went with the dumb option I requested an email so it could not come back on me. Its what burned me out fast on corporate life. It's also what made me able to retire at 34, as I started saving and investing hard in real estate since the crash. I now just cash rent checks for a living.

Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #45 on: November 14, 2012, 08:21:49 PM »
College prepares you to be useful..it is up to the job/employer to make it as less difficult as possible to bring your usefulness to fruition...I just feel that these "clever" stumbling blocks discussed here are limiting...to both parties....that's all...
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 08:23:29 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline jeff v

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #46 on: November 14, 2012, 09:05:30 PM »
Geez, the poor HR people can't even catch a break online! Seems that the questions get their intended response/reactions-even here.

On one of my first interviews out of school I was asked who is one of my role models. I answered...my mom. No kidding, that was the first thing that popped in my head. I didn't get a call back.  :-[  :-D
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #47 on: November 14, 2012, 09:29:47 PM »
Geez, the poor HR people can't even catch a break online! Seems that the questions get their intended response/reactions-even here.

On one of my first interviews out of school I was asked who is one of my role models. I answered...my mom. No kidding, that was the first thing that popped in my head. I didn't get a call back.  :-[  :-D
See what I mean Jeff....now how much more "rigged/jacked" can ya get?   And I'll bet you have a really nice Mom! She prolly cooked you a real nice meal too when ya'll found out you didn't get the job,huh.   8)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 09:33:41 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2012, 09:36:08 PM »
I have done quite a few interviews for positions where I was hiring, not so many where I was being hired, but my view is thus:

Questions not directly applicable to the position to be filled do more to justify HR bureaucracies than they do to qualifying a candidate for the applicable position. 

+1
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Offline jeff v

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2012, 09:40:52 PM »
+1

Arent these questions a good way to see how we'll people think on their feet or react to an awkward or stressful situation?
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Offline jeff v

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2012, 09:43:19 PM »
See what I mean Jeff....now how much more "rigged/jacked" can ya get?   And I'll bet you have a really nice Mom! She prolly cooked you a real nice meal too when ya'll found out you didn't get the job,huh.   8)

 I think she laughed at me...role model my a$$.  :'(
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Phar Lap

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2012, 09:49:58 PM »
Quote
Posted by: jeff v

Arent these questions a good way to see how we'll people think on their feet or react to an awkward or stressful situation?

Jeff - Absolutely, and that is really the point of this genre of questions...but what do I know...

Quote
Posted by: jeff v
Geez, the poor HR people can't even catch a break online! Seems that the questions get their intended response/reactions-even here.


Yes...you get it...on behalf of the much maligned HR community, we thank you!  :-D 

Online Tscarborough

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #52 on: November 14, 2012, 09:51:33 PM »
"Aren't these questions a good way to see how we'll people think on their feet or react to an awkward or stressful situation? "

They would be, if they were related to the task at hand.  If you want to throw someone off your game (That is, see how they react in the context of the job they are applying for), use industry specific jargon in an incorrect way, or ask them to use a pen and paper to draw something related, be it a map, an object or a relation between a division of some sort related to the position (i.e a word problem solved in graphic form).


Offline Jet_deck

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2012, 09:55:54 PM »
Arent these questions a good way to see how we'll people think on their feet or react to an awkward or stressful situation?

Yes, probably so.  We need to remember that not every job needs an 'outside the box' thinker.  Some of us need 'robots' that follow instructions to the 'T' and perform a task repetitively all day long, every day.  I don't need them trying to re-invent the wheel, I just want the dam wheel built the way I tell them.

Maybe my thinking applies to blue collar jobs more than white collar jobs, I don't know.

I am in heavy equipment manufacturing/ sales / service.  Not Wall Street, IT, or Real Estate.  I must have rose colored glasses.  But I do love me some pizza, just the same as everyone else.
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Online Tscarborough

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #54 on: November 14, 2012, 09:58:05 PM »
I guess my difference of opinion is that at it's most basic, other than very particular positions, I do not care about your ability to handle awkward social situations or your ability to produce bull%$# (think on their feet with no context).  

I want to know:

Are you competent at the position.
Are you able to adapt and learn.
Are you reliable.

The rest is your life and I just don't care.

Phar Lap

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #55 on: November 14, 2012, 10:10:01 PM »
Quote
I was once asked how many gummy bears can fit inside a 747.  I replied with a question.  'How many do you need me to get in there, and can I melt them and fill the fuel tanks or can I only use the cabin and the storage area?' The interviewer felt it was a good answer.

That is a good answer...nice demonstration of your creativity, confidence, and spatial reasoning ability.  Being there in person to observe your body language and mannerisms when you answered the question would reveal additional important qualities of your answer.

If you were equally technically qualified--(i.e. job specific skills)--with another or multiple other candidates, it has been my experience that your answer to this question is extremely beneficial in choosing the right candidate for the organization...far better than "throwing a dart at a board" by only focusing on the technical competencies of the finalist candidates, which in the current hiring environment for the majority of vacancies I deal with is basically "wrought" with technical skill parity.  

      
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 10:12:32 PM by Phar Lap »

Offline jeff v

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #56 on: November 14, 2012, 10:11:38 PM »
"Aren't these questions a good way to see how we'll people think on their feet or react to an awkward or stressful situation? "

They would be, if they were related to the task at hand.  If you want to throw someone off your game (That is, see how they react in the context of the job they are applying for), use industry specific jargon in an incorrect way, or ask them to use a pen and paper to draw something related, be it a map, an object or a relation between a division of some sort related to the position (i.e a word problem solved in graphic form).

That makes sense.

I believe up thread someone said these types of questions were used when interviewing air traffic controllers. Assuming they know all the technical aspects of the job it would seem useful to know how they handle something totally from left field as well. There are plenty of jobs where that could be useful information above and beyond the normal or even minute details of the position itself.

Not trying to change any minds, just trying to make a counter point-I'm in sales.  :P
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Phar Lap

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #57 on: November 14, 2012, 10:17:07 PM »
Quote
Posted by: Tscarborough

I want to know:

Are you able to adapt and learn.

I submit that that the creativity and critical thinking skills that these type of questions are designed to assess are directly related to a candidate's ability to adapt and learn.

Online Tscarborough

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #58 on: November 14, 2012, 10:18:57 PM »
"I'm in sales."

So am I which is why I have been subjected to these type questions.  Context is my difference with standard HR "DIH*" questions.  If an HR department exists then it is a given that said department can not ask the questions as I suggest because they do not possess the industry specific information to ask those types of questions without suffering from DIH themselves.  The easy answer for them is to ask how many gummybears  would it take to fill an airplane.  


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« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 10:20:42 PM by Tscarborough »

Online Tscarborough

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Re: Job Interview Questions
« Reply #59 on: November 14, 2012, 10:19:42 PM »
Phar, for a very narrow range of positions, I agree.  For the other 99.5% I disagree.