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Sketchy

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22nd September, 2010 at 19:07:12 -

Just wondering, what's the stupidest/hardest question you've ever been asked at a job interview?

Today I was asked "Would you take the job if we offered it you?" This after I've just driven 200+ miles to get to the interview - which incidentally, lasted about 10 minutes total .

In the past, I've also been asked "If you were an item of confectionery, what would you be, and why?", and "If you were an animal...".

It's just so frustrating when you make such an effort to prepare for and travel to an interview, and they just waste your time like this.

 
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lembi2001



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22nd September, 2010 at 19:40:23 -

I wouldn't say that this was a stupid or hard question but when i went to the interview for my appreticeship at a High School as an IT Techy The Head asked me the following:

What would you do if you left alone in a classroom with one of the female pupils and they started making advances towards you?

To which i responded - I would ask them to move away or leave the room so i could continue with my work.

I was then asked - What if the pupil decided to ignore this request.

I would remve myself from the situation by leaving the room and report the matter to my line manager and/or management.

Like i said the question itself wasn't stupid but the other candidate was. He was asked the same What would you do if... question and he responded (and i quote!)

What would i do or what should i do???........

Needless to say the Head wasn't impressed.

 
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Hagar

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22nd September, 2010 at 21:40:23 -

@Sketchy haha. Not relevant but you just made me think of currys today. I am there looking at the mid range TV's (32 inch) and the sales man pounces offering a 40 pound cash back on the LED TV, which I think was the dearest TV in the shop. Such a stupid question!

Hardest thing i was asked was bit reversal of an unsigned integer in C without using loops (answer is on this page http://www.topcoder.com/tc?module=Static&d1=tutorials&d2=bitManipulation ). Only had one job interview and one job so I can not comment on stupid questions, although my boss did do a few daft things while I was working .

Hope you get the job anyway, my GF is going through interviews at the moment.



 
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Sketchy

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22nd September, 2010 at 21:56:04 -

@Lembi:
It's one thing to think that (I would), but to actually say it out loud...

When I was doing a ski season, it involved working with secondary school kids. We were told that the girls would inevitably have crushes on us, and flirt, etc (us being older, and really tanned and cool) - and that under absolutely no circumstances could we be alone with one of them. It would literally get us fired on the spot. It's not so much that we might do something inappropriate, but rather that the kids might claim we had - which could get us sued and damage the company's reputation. They just didn't want to take that chance.

@Hagar:
Thanks.
That programming question is way over my head.

How long has your GF been looking? Is she getting many interviews? This was my first in quite a long time, so I guess it pays to keep trying (not that she has much choice).
Has she been in the UK long enough to get benefits? That's got to be hard if not. I wish her luck anyway (I'm not one of those annoying people who complain about foreigners stealing our jobs).

I keep coming across incompetent people in stores etc too. It's frustrating because you just think "I could do your job so much better than you, and yet here I am, unemployed". I think 90% of any job is common sense, which only about 10% of people actually have these days.

Edited by Sketchy

 
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Marko

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23rd September, 2010 at 00:01:58 -

@ Sketchy, they don't sound very professional if they intervie for just 10 minutes, sounds like they've not done much prep. work into the interview, therefore they'll (probably) end up picking the wrong candidate coz they don't know enough about everyone.

And yeah, i thought that was a daft question, though maybe they were gauging how people react to that. But i doubt it!

 
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Sketchy

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23rd September, 2010 at 00:57:02 -

The NHS, unprofessional - surely not?
It's pretty annoying that I had to drive all that distance, when there was really nothing that couldn't have been done over the phone instead.

The confectionery/animal questions were for ski season jobs (they seem to be pretty standard). I think they're meant to prove you have patience or a sense of humour or something. They probably don't really care what answer you give - just as long as you don't have a go at them for asking such a stupid question, which would maybe suggest you're a bit uptight.

 
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Sumo148

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23rd September, 2010 at 02:48:55 -


Originally Posted by Sketchy
@Lembi:
It's one thing to think that (I would), but to actually say it out loud...

When I was doing a ski season, it involved working with secondary school kids. We were told that the girls would inevitably have crushes on us, and flirt, etc (us being older, and really tanned and cool) - and that under absolutely no circumstances could we be alone with one of them. It would literally get us fired on the spot. It's not so much that we might do something inappropriate, but rather that the kids might claim we had - which could get us sued and damage the company's reputation. They just didn't want to take that chance.

@Hagar:
Thanks.
That programming question is way over my head.

How long has your GF been looking? Is she getting many interviews? This was my first in quite a long time, so I guess it pays to keep trying (not that she has much choice).
Has she been in the UK long enough to get benefits? That's got to be hard if not. I wish her luck anyway (I'm not one of those annoying people who complain about foreigners stealing our jobs).

I keep coming across incompetent people in stores etc too. It's frustrating because you just think "I could do your job so much better than you, and yet here I am, unemployed". I think 90% of any job is common sense, which only about 10% of people actually have these days.




Same situation in my job over the summer. I was a camp counselor and because of safety reasons all counselors couldn't be alone with a kid even if they were only like 7 or 8 years old. It got pretty annoying, but it was a rule.

 
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lembi2001



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23rd September, 2010 at 09:42:53 -

As it turns out I was hardly ever actually alone with the pupils but with me being one half of a two man team they had to make sure I could handle the situation. I think the only time I was alone with them was when they were in the After School ICT club because my office was right next to the ICT room!

 
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BattleCat



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23rd September, 2010 at 11:43:14 -

Here in Denmark it's common (don't know if it is in other countries) to get your boss from whatever place you're leaving to write sort of a recommendation where they explain the positive things you contributed to the company.
In 2006 I was an intern in an website CMS company. The boss there wrote wrote a really good recommendation for me. He wrote, among other things, that I contributed a lot to the company both socially and professionally.

Right after I finished my education I had 2 job opportunities. I went to an interview at the first place.
I'm at this interview and he asks me to explain why I personally think my previous boss wrote that I contributed socially to the company. To me that was a really hard question.

 
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Matt Boothman

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23rd September, 2010 at 15:43:40 -

I turned up for an interview at Game (computer game shop to you non-Brits), and it turned out that it was a group interview, something I was unaware of. Thought, okay, it'll just be working in groups to do tasks - but no, they just made you stand up in front of the room and role-play with the interviewer. All the other candidates were recently retired salesmen or computer geeks - I knew next to nothing about modern consoles (I'm much better now though). So anyway, they asked me to "sell" an XBox 360 controller; which is stupid, you either need it or you don't. Anyway, so I says "Excuse me, sir, could I interest you in a controller for your XBox?" and he says "Erm, I don't know, does it need batteries?". I didn't even know the answer. Nightmare. Spent the rest of the interview looking at my watch while all the other candidates displayed the length and breadth of their gaming knowledge.

Most interviews is pretty standard though; "What do you know about our company?", "Can you explain in the past an instance where you've helped a customer with a difficult request.", "What do you feel you could bring to the job?". Bullshit central.

 
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23rd September, 2010 at 16:12:22 -

Well, sometimes the interviewers themselves are inexperienced. Interviews are usually there to test your creativity or social skills; technical skills and so on are judged from your grades or work experience.

A friend of my father's (who worked in engineering management) taught me that the best interviewers often ask simple questions that would comfortably be in their field, like "What is a blueprint?" An interviewee who memorizes everything in class would be dumbfounded by a simple question, while more intelligent ones with potential would actually find a good answer that explains what they know, show their social/communication skills, and how they explain technical stuff.

I haven't really had enough interviews to get stupid questions. I just get the typical "What is your strength?" "What is your biggest weakness?" Heh, and they flew 4000 miles to interview me, so I'm looking forward to working with any company that treats even potential employees that well.

 
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Hayo

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23rd September, 2010 at 17:45:24 -

I once applied for the job of history teacher at a christian school. I was being interviewed by this very nervous christian dude with a little moustache.


Christian dude: Did you have a look at our, uh, WEBSITE?

Me: Yes, I did.

Christian dude: And what struck you about it?

Me: Uh..it's pretty..well made for a school site?

Christian dude: Well, THAT'S NOT WHAT I WAS AFTER. I was hoping you would mention the christian character of it.



In the end I wasn't hired because of my long hair

 
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23rd September, 2010 at 19:27:07 -

thats called discrimination. i dont remember where youre from hayo, but hopefully they have discrimination laws there. they cant NOT hire you because of your hair, although they can require you to cut it. but what kind of christians have problems with hair anyways? jesus had long hair for christs sake (pun intended )

also, you should have said their site sucked when they didnt hire you

Edited by Cecilectomy

 
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Hagar

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23rd September, 2010 at 19:35:42 -

@Sketchy: She has been looking for a few weeks and has had about 6 interviews. Not sure on benefit front but she has been in the UK for over 6 years.
To be honest, out of my masters and undergrad degree there is only myself and her gone into this field. Most people avoid it as it's deemed to be hard (well it is!).

@Hayo: Lol! I also "sport" long hair, although recently I have had it cut back a lot as it was just going crazy. I would have answered the same or similar.


 
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Muz



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23rd September, 2010 at 19:44:03 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman

Most interviews is pretty standard though; "What do you know about our company?", "Can you explain in the past an instance where you've helped a customer with a difficult request.", "What do you feel you could bring to the job?". Bullshit central.



To be fair, those are actually the sort of things you should research if you really want the job Stuff like what you know and what you can contribute give you the easiest "interview points" for the study time. You can't really predict the other garbage they'll throw at you, but that stuff is fair game.


Oh, now that I think of it, the worst interviews I've had were the group interviews. Put 12 people in a room, give them a problem, and have the most aggressive people in the world try to shut up everyone else and force their (obvious) solution. Then some other idiot misunderstands the problem and derails the conversation. I get so fed up with them that I come out looking aggressive and lacking teamwork.

And the absolute worst question I get in interviews is "Tell me about yourself."
"What do you want me to tell?"
"Anything that describes you."
"I was born in..."
"No, no, I don't want your life story, tell me about what you're doing now."
"From my resume, you can tell that I studied in..."
"Mhmm. I know that."



 
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Marko

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23rd September, 2010 at 23:44:16 -


Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
I turned up for an interview at Game (computer game shop to you non-Brits), and it turned out that it was a group interview, something I was unaware of. Thought, okay, it'll just be working in groups to do tasks - but no, they just made you stand up in front of the room and role-play with the interviewer. All the other candidates were recently retired salesmen or computer geeks - I knew next to nothing about modern consoles (I'm much better now though). So anyway, they asked me to "sell" an XBox 360 controller; which is stupid, you either need it or you don't. Anyway, so I says "Excuse me, sir, could I interest you in a controller for your XBox?" and he says "Erm, I don't know, does it need batteries?". I didn't even know the answer. Nightmare. Spent the rest of the interview looking at my watch while all the other candidates displayed the length and breadth of their gaming knowledge.

Most interviews is pretty standard though; "What do you know about our company?", "Can you explain in the past an instance where you've helped a customer with a difficult request.", "What do you feel you could bring to the job?". Bullshit central.


I can't believe GAME went to all those lengths when i really do consider both them and their staff (in my experience) to be one of the worst game retailer chains i've ever been in. GAME sucks!

 
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lembi2001



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24th September, 2010 at 10:16:15 -


Originally Posted by Marko

Originally Posted by Matt Boothman
I turned up for an interview at Game (computer game shop to you non-Brits), and it turned out that it was a group interview, something I was unaware of. Thought, okay, it'll just be working in groups to do tasks - but no, they just made you stand up in front of the room and role-play with the interviewer. All the other candidates were recently retired salesmen or computer geeks - I knew next to nothing about modern consoles (I'm much better now though). So anyway, they asked me to "sell" an XBox 360 controller; which is stupid, you either need it or you don't. Anyway, so I says "Excuse me, sir, could I interest you in a controller for your XBox?" and he says "Erm, I don't know, does it need batteries?". I didn't even know the answer. Nightmare. Spent the rest of the interview looking at my watch while all the other candidates displayed the length and breadth of their gaming knowledge.

Most interviews is pretty standard though; "What do you know about our company?", "Can you explain in the past an instance where you've helped a customer with a difficult request.", "What do you feel you could bring to the job?". Bullshit central.


I can't believe GAME went to all those lengths when i really do consider both them and their staff (in my experience) to be one of the worst game retailer chains i've ever been in. GAME sucks!



I wholeheartedly agree. I worked for GAME at the Rochdale Branch (I assume that this is the one where you went for your interview Matt) for a year somtime around 2006. They have ZERO trust in their staff and treat you like dirt. I left on awful terms and would seriously discourage anyone from applying with them.

 
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Hagar

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24th September, 2010 at 10:58:21 -

In my town Gamestation is opposite Game. It's cheaper, the guys inside seem to know a tiny bit more and they used to stock retro stuff too (seems to have pretty much gone now ) - so I normally would shop there for games.

I can only think of one place worse than game, and that is Maplin !

 
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lembi2001



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24th September, 2010 at 14:53:15 -

Ahh but hagar, did you know Gamestation IS Game??? Game Stores Group bought the Franchise off Blockbuster about 4 years back and have kept the name Gamestation to sell the retro stuff so that their flagship brand name GAME can concentrate on the new releases. This is why you hardly ever see a GAME store stocking games for the GBA/PS1 anymore. You certainly can't trade them in anymore.

EDIT - it was 3 Years ago - http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6169997.html

Edited by lembi2001

 
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Hagar

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24th September, 2010 at 15:07:30 -

- Even gamestation is cutting back on the retro stuff which sucks. They used to have master system, NES, SNES n64 games/consoles/accessories etc.

Guess ebay has took over on that front.

 
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nim



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24th September, 2010 at 16:23:44 -

"What would you do with a double-decker bus if someone gave you it and you weren't allowed to sell it?"

 
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24th September, 2010 at 19:48:42 -


Originally Posted by nim
"What would you do with a double-decker bus if someone gave you it and you weren't allowed to sell it?"



Easiest question ever.

Turn it into a two-story RV.

 

  		
  		
   

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