Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Five words to ruin a job interview watch

    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    "I've always had a burning passion for..."
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Awful lot of jews here...
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Observatory)
    it's a bull**** trick question deliberately designed to be almost impossible to answer.
    No. As has been said, it allows the interviewer to see the interviewee respond when placed in an uncomfortable position; it shows whether the candidate is self-aware; it gives an insight into their honesty (it is very easy to see who is lying, prevaricating or bull****ting). And it can open up secondary questions and areas to explore.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    "I like to cut people."
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hal.E.Lujah)
    It's a rubbish question I agree, but in many places it's required on interview sheets set by the company.
    But the question then becomes, do I want to work for a company that has a list of required bull**** questions? It sets my bull****-o-meter screaming that this is likely to be a bull**** job that will be chock full of required bull**** on a daily basis, not just in the interview.

    I actually find it really does throw a spanner in the works for so many people and you get to see how they handle being uncomfortable. It's not nice sure, but if you're looking for someone who is going to be working under pressure sometimes you need to apply that pressure and see what happens.
    It tests if people are good at answering bull**** questions which means that it selects for a workforce of bull****ters. Is that good for the business? Personally I don't want to work with, for, and certainly not employ bull****ters.

    When I was interviewed for my current job I was asked only extremely polite and friendly questions in a very relaxed environment - but questions of a technical nature that 99% of people would not even understand let alone be able to answer. This is also pressure just of a different kind.

    If someone was working in a PR role for example and would probably be facing questions at some point that would make ones like that look like a doddle, then the interviewer is pretty much obliged to check they can handle them.
    Fair enough, PR is probably one profession which genuinely requires proficiency in bull****.
    • Very Important Poster
    • Study Helper
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Study Helper
    Welcome Squad
    (I'm not allowed to swear here am I...?)

    Just think of the rudest five swear words - that'd probably screw your chances

    Or: I screwed your b***h wife!
    Or: Your wife is a w***e

    The list goes on!
    • PS Helper
    • Study Helper
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    Study Helper
    (Original post by Observatory)
    But the question then becomes, do I want to work for a company that has a list of required bull**** questions? It sets my bull****-o-meter screaming that this is likely to be a bull**** job that will be chock full of required bull**** on a daily basis, not just in the interview.


    It tests if people are good at answering bull**** questions which means that it selects for a workforce of bull****ters. Is that good for the business?

    When I was interviewed for my current job I was asked only extremely polite and friendly questions in a very relaxed environment - but questions of a technical nature that 99% of people would not even understand let alone be able to answer. This is also pressure just of a different kind.


    Fair enough, PR is probably one profession which genuinely requires proficiency in bull****.


    Well yeah, if you go into something technical people aren't looking for someone able to maintain positive attitude under pressure so they don't have to ask questions to see that.


    To be honest it's all well and good to whinge about it but if it's asked you might aswell answer it better than anyone else. Sometimes I think people who struggle to answer this are a bit flimsy, in the same way if you were asking specialist technical questions and the person you were interviewing tried to dodge around the question you'd think they were flimsy. And as you've said, if they replied with bull**** then they're going to be treated as flimsy. I maintain that the best answers to these questions are people who just have the outright nerve to say 'This is what I'm bad at' or 'I've been bad at this in the past and changed that'.


    And on the note of a mistake you've made in the past, that is the Best. Question. Ever. You get a golden ticket with that one. The moment someone asks that I know I've got the job, because half the candidates will fluff it, a handful of them will say I don't make mistakes, and then only a few remaining will answer it with an actual mistake they've done that they learnt from.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by Jeanlucpicard)
    Another one that's trending on Twitter.

    5 words to ruin a job interview for me?

    "I don't want this job"
    "My mum came along too"
    • TSR Community Team
    • Welcome Squad
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Community Team
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by mobbsy91)
    (I'm not allowed to swear here am I...?)

    Just think of the rudest five swear words - that'd probably screw your chances

    Or: I screwed your b***h wife!
    Or: Your wife is a w***e

    The list goes on!
    That's strong mobbsy..
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I'd like to do Ur-wife.
    • Very Important Poster
    • Study Helper
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Study Helper
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by Jeanlucpicard)
    That's strong mobbsy..
    Depends how much you hate your not-to-be boss... and whether you want to screw his relationship with his wife
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I've been doing ma...
    • Very Important Poster
    • Study Helper
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Study Helper
    Welcome Squad
    Can I steal your secrets?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hal.E.Lujah)
    If someone was working in a PR role for example and would probably be facing questions at some point that would make ones like that look like a doddle, then the interviewer is pretty much obliged to check they can handle them.
    I used to recruit people into a pre-sales support role which involved giving presentations at unpredictable times and having to cope with awkward customers. I wasn't recruiting trainees into the role, but supposedly experienced people.

    My technique for seeing how candidates coped with this was to allow the receptionist to get them settled with a cup of coffee and then meet them once it had arrived and they were calm, and give them fifteen minutes to prepare a fifteen-minute presentation on a (business-related) subject of their choice to myself and colleagues. I put them in a room, pointed out where the materials were and left them to it, returning after five minutes to see if there had been a disaster, and after a further ten to receive the presentation.

    It simultaneously tested responsiveness, adaptability, presentation skills, listening skills, response to pressure, self-awareness and so on - all under realistic business conditions.

    I shall never forget the poor devil who quite literally sank to his knees when pleading for me to give him a subject to present on rather than allow him free choice. Nor the one who spilled his coffee when I briefed him. The ones we wanted to recruit stood out a mile and the rest of the interview was a breeze for them.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Political Ambassador
    I don't believe in "qualifications"
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Take your clothes off please


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by mobbsy91)
    Or: I screwed your b***h wife!
    Or: Your wife is a w***e
    I've seen your wife's tattoo.

    I like your wife's Brazilian.

    Wasn't your wife … ? Never mind.

    Does your wife like dogging?

    Have you got a daughter?
    • Very Important Poster
    • Study Helper
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Study Helper
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by Simes)
    I've seen your wife's tattoo.

    I like your wife's Brazilian.

    Wasn't your wife … ? Never mind.

    Does your wife like dogging?

    Have you got a daughter?
    Brilliant!!!
    • Section Leader
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Section Leader
    We're trying for a baby.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Hal.E.Lujah)
    Well yeah, if you go into something technical people aren't looking for someone able to maintain positive attitude under pressure so they don't have to ask questions to see that.
    What an incredibly narrow and patronising attitude. In which of these situations is remaining effective under pressure more important:

    1. The office photocopier breaking down five minutes before a new candidate arrives for interview, leaving the office manager totally unable to print out the list of required questions without which he will have absolutely no idea what to say.

    2. A fire on an oil rig.

    Which is more technical?

    Anyway, the sense in which I used the phrase technical questions was not to mean testing if someone has a STEM degree. Every job has technique, which can in principle be directly tested. Maybe remaining positive (I said effective, which is not quite the same, but I grant the two may correlate) under pressure might even be part of that technique. But this question does not really test spontaneous response under pressure, it tests willingness and ability to prepare for the question. The most effective candidates will overwhelmingly be the ones who feel the least pressure because they already know what they plan to say.

    To be honest it's all well and good to whinge about it but if it's asked you might aswell answer it better than anyone else. Sometimes I think people who struggle to answer this are a bit flimsy, in the same way if you were asking specialist technical questions and the person you were interviewing tried to dodge around the question you'd think they were flimsy. And as you've said, if they replied with bull**** then they're going to be treated as flimsy. I maintain that the best answers to these questions are people who just have the outright nerve to say 'This is what I'm bad at' or 'I've been bad at this in the past and changed that'.

    And on the note of a mistake you've made in the past, that is the Best. Question. Ever. You get a golden ticket with that one. The moment someone asks that I know I've got the job, because half the candidates will fluff it, a handful of them will say I don't make mistakes, and then only a few remaining will answer it with an actual mistake they've done that they learnt from.
    It's a bull**** question not because it is difficult to answer but because it does not measure what it purports to measure. If I say "My worst fault is that I am bad in bed." you will think I am taking the piss and not hire me, even if it's completely true. If I say, "My worst fault is that I am lazy." then you will not hire me - even if I am so good at what I do that me working 4 hours a day is better than an average employee working 8 hours, or if the other guy is also lazy but just didn't admit it. If I say, "My worst fault used to be laziness but then I fixed that by X, Y, and Z." then I have not answered the question at all but you are more likely to hire me than if I gave any of the other answers.

    You "win" answering this question by inventing a plausible weakness that is not too bad and then trying to turn it into a positive by saying what you are doing to fix it. "My worst fault is that I care too much !" is not a bad answer because it is a lie but only because it is a transparent lie. It is testing whether you are good at answering dishonest questions, not whether you are good at the job. Again, PR is a job in which you have to be good at answering dishonest questions; most others, not so much.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
Useful resources
AtCTs

Ask the Community Team

Got a question about the site content or our moderation? Ask here.

Welcome Lounge

Welcome Lounge

We're a friendly bunch. Post here if you're new to TSR.

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.