Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There is No Such Thing as a Silly Question

OK a complete change of pace because Sunday's post caused such a rucous. Thank you again for your very honest perspectives.

Renee is doing OK. She's still worried and there is a hard road ahead.

Now it's all about me. And a quiz for you my poppets.

Every time I apply for a job on www.seek.com.au, and if it's through an Agency, the rule is that you need to meet with the agency rep before they put your CV forward to the client. Now for the past 3 Tuesdays and with great thanks to my current boss who understands the need, I have had to traipse into the city (about a 1 hour bus ride) and meet with various recruitment consultants. Happily the city consultants are more 'mature' than their local counterparts, who are barely out of nappies. So today, I met with three (killing birds - one stone). But honestly, some of the questions floor me so I want your answers to the following. Try to think about a 52 year old woman with credit card debt to die for and the need for occupational validation. These are real questions. The answers however have been tempered for slightly comedic value:

"Why would you like to work for Parcels Direct"

Erm so I can get the staff discount and ship cocaine to England cheaply?"

"So, what are your weaknesses?"

Well my left knee actually and the fact that Eclipse chewing gum makes me fart

"If you had three jobs lined up in front of you, what would make you choose one over the other?"

The one closest to home or the one that pays the most - do I have a choice or is this is a trick question? You don't have any jobs do you?

"What is your greatest achievement?"

I guess considering that you're 18, living at home and still wearing a training bra . . raising two children to balanced adulthood wouldn't actually hold any resonance . .oh you need me to spell resonance and explain what it means?

"So, how much would you like to earn?"

One beeeeelllllioooon dolllarrrrrs!

"What's your idea of the perfect job?"

Well one that has me being paid one beeeeellllioooon dollllarrrs for having sex on the boardroom table with Johnny Depp (without Jay there and her camera!)

"Where would you like to work?"

In bed? In the kitchen? In the garden? Actually I don't really want to work, I want to volunteer for pets as therapy and do lunch three times a week on the Northern Beaches. Or breed pretty little ponies for spoilt rich kids. Bucking has never been so much fun!

"What excites you, motivates you?"

Having sex with Johnny Depp on the Boardroom table

"What locations are you prepared to work in?"

Erm . .Paris? Venice? Vienna? New York? I suppose Papeete is pushing the envelope?

"Describe your perfect work environment"

Well there has to be a big boardroom table and a pirate and I have to be allowed to bring my dog and an espresso coffee bar and a putting green and I can work in my pyjamas . .do you have a position at Google?

Ok your turn. Throw em at me. I am an "A" Grade Interviewee . .send me your questions . . .


Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Still snorting at your answers - and let's just get one thing straight, we're sharing the Depp boy!

Now, in no particular order, some of the ones I've been on the receiving end of:

What are your employment objectives?

If given the opportunity to be promoted what position in the company would you like? And why?

What difference to you believe you could make to our company?

Why do you want to work for our company?

How do you feel about teamwork?

Do you believe you have initiative? If so, provide an example of that initiative in a previous work situation.

Do you live to work or work to live?

Why should we employ you?

If you get a parking fine on company time and whilst doing company business, how would you handle the situation?

Would you be willing to come in and participate in some role playing with other prospective candidates?

If a client phoned with a serious complaint against the company, how would you deal with it?

What do you think of our present marketing strategy? How would you improve upon it?

How do you feel about managing staff?

How do you feel about reporting to a manager who is younger than you?

Sarah Lulu said...

Mmmmmm Johnny Depp.

GayƩ Terzioglu said...

I also have to say:
MMmmmm Johnny Depp.

sandy said...

How many more weeks of these ridiculous interviewsWouldn't getting me a job be better?

Brian Miller said...

i on the other hand will not be refering to johnny depp...

lol. and you thought this was less rucuous. a putting green, your dog, jd, expresso bar, boardroom table...seems a bit crowded, but to each their own.

back in a bit.

Kate said...

How do you feel about wearing this,,,, as a uniform?????

Ces said...

Oh gee, I would not know what to say in an interview. I never had to interview for a kob. I was always recruited and offered the job before I met the boss. So dfor this I am eternally grateful. However, I interview applicants and we have weeded out so many applicants who we feel won't be a good mix. How do we do it? Gut feeling. If I don't feel comfortable with an applicant, chances are, I won't be comfortable with that person when he/she becomes an employee.

Ces said...

Indeed I have never interviewed for a "kob". I don't know what that is, but I know a job. Hahahah.

Grannymar said...

'Why are you here?' Yes I was actually asked that at the beginning of an interview where I was head hunted, as they say!
Do you want to know my answer? "Your reputation has gone before you, and I am not sure if I want to work with or for you". The lady in question was a known bully who gave a very good impersonation of a Regimental Sargent Major on the parade ground. I added "I Will not be shouted at, there is no need, bullying is a criminal offence and I know my rights." I did go to work there and said lady was as quiet as a mouse both with me and everyone else when within my hearing.

'Where do you see yourself in 18 months time?' 'In your chair' is not the correct answer! lol

'What is the lowest figure you will accept in earnings?' 'GOODBYE' is the only answer!

hokgardner said...

I don't have any good questions for you. But I lurve your answers.

Ropi said...

I am very disappointed that you are not prepared to work in Budapest. You refuse one of the oldest countries in Europe which has been the rook of Christianity and Europe (and in return we got the Peace of trianon later), the country which invented underwear, the zip, introduced a new kind of cavalry in Europe and cavalry in general in America during the War of Independence (I am not proud of that though) and so on ....

laughingwolf said...

how, exactly, do you intend to breed the wee ponies when you're not one yourself? :O lol

...mmm... said...

"raising two children to balanced adulthood wouldn't actually hold any resonance . .oh you need me to spell resonance and explain what it means?"
--LOVE THAT. So true.

I didn't realise until just now you are female. I thought you were a guy. Sorry! I;ve only been here a few times, what can I say?!!

O<, here are questions I;ve asked interviewees before. Some are horrid, yes:

"What is your biggest failure professionally and what negative thing did you learn about yourself from it?" (I know, awaful--company question!! you shoudl see them grimace throug that. )

"Tell me about a time you experienced 'direct' personal conflict with another employeee that was no resolvable?" "What did you learn about yourself in that?"

Colette Amelia said...

Those stupid questions are so stupid!!! and they throw a person off. so then I practise for the stupid ones and then I go for an interview and they don't ask them and then I haven't practised for the maybe more pertinate questions so I still come out looking stupid!!!

We could be twins...I answered about the same...Wherrrrrrre's Johnny?

Ronda Laveen said...

What is your favorite technique for firing employees?

How do you feel about your former employer?

How much does it cost to ship cocaine to England?

jay said...

""What's your idea of the perfect job?"

Well one that has me being paid one beeeeellllioooon dollllarrrs for having sex on the boardroom table with Johnny Depp (without Jay there and her camera!)"

My camera would be the least of your worries, honey! ROFL!!!

Looks like your ideal job and mine have a few things in common! :P

jay said...

Hey .. wait a minute!! Looks like I have more than a little competition for the Depp boy!

Form an orderly queue, ladies!!

Cuppa Jo said...

Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?

I never really liked that question.

Mmm, Johnny Depp...

Megan said...

This is hilarious.

Looks like Johnny is gonna be pretty busy.

California Girl said...

Cuppa beat me to it but I have always particularly loved the question:

"Where do you see yourself in five years?"

In yours and my cases, I would say,

"Retired or dead".

Hahahahaha! Great Post!!! I laughed my ass off (and that's a feat!)

Baino said...

AV I think I've had all of those. I even had a phone interview with Parcels Direct and she did ask my why I wanted to work for them. Who in their right mind wants to work for a parcel delivery company if not for the dosh! And these days, all my managers are younger than me!

Steady girls, I'm with Jay . .form a queue. She's met him twice so she has to go to the end of the line and give someone else a go!

I know Sandy, it's so laborious. I have all my answers off pat now. They don't really need to ask the questions!

Seriously Brian. You can do that at Google. I have a friend working in an art studio and they have all that gear, helps them to be 'creative' apparently. Although i don't think he wears his jammies to work

Kate I'd LOVE any uniform, saves picking out different clothese every day. I've spent half this week's pay on new cloths and the ther half on fixing my car!

You've never been interviewed Ces? Actually I've only had two in my life until now and I got both jobs!

Good for you GM. I'm shopping for a boss as much as they're shopping for an employee these days.

Heather, you have the hardest job in the world!

Aww Ropi, I would love to work in Budapest but the language might be an issue! Yeh well, Australia invented the wine cask!

Wuffa . . .*sigh*

mmm . . you thought I was a man? Oh dear. My transition to androgen is complete! No my friend, I am very much a girly swat! And that's an incredibly negative question. Haven't had that one before. Just "What are your weaknesses . . " Chocolate and champagne doesn't really cut it as an answer!

Collette, I haven't had anything out of the norm. I think they're all reading the same script!

Rhonda, considering my former employer SACKED me . . I have to grit my teeth and be gracious with that one. Thank God I'm not hooked to a lie detector.

Yeh Jay . . now don't be greedy and slide down the back!

Five or ten years . . .in a wheelchair with a catheter!

Change of pace Megs

Cali at least they're not asking what I did five or ten minutes ago. I'd have forgotten.

Kath Lockett said...

Great answers, Baino. I've said it before and I'll say it again, work this up into an article and submit it to SMH - they'd love it, publish it and pay you for it!

Dumbest question I was ever asked was in London 1991, at the height of the last recession, applying for a job as a debt collector in a struggling bank:
"What personal qualities can you bring to us?"

I wanted to say - "Violence, lack of empathy and the capacity to giggle evilly at inappropriate moments" but I didn't - I had rent to pay, holidays to save for and drinking to do, and blathered on about being supportive, organised and able to 'switch off' when required. Yep, I got the job and yep, stayed there for over a year....

Kurt said...

I hate when they ask me why I want to work there. In most interviews, I'm interviewing them as much as they're interviewing me. I'm seeing if I want to work there.

kj said...

would you rather ask for permission or forgiveness?


River said...

A pirate and a putting green?? Well no wonder you can't find a job......putting greens are kinda hard to come by.
I've saved your questions and I'll work on my answers later.
My least favourite interview question is :- what do you do in your spare time, what hobbies do you have?

nick said...

At least you haven't had the question "Most of our employees are very young. Do you think you'll feel comfortable working with them?" Or maybe you have....

Baino said...

Kath if I thought I could do half as good a job as you, I might. Then again if things get desperate, I might just do it for the publicity!

Me too Kurt. No webstite? Not interested and if they use the term 'secretary' I know they're archaic!

Oooh kj, that's a curly one. Haven't had that. But would definitely prefer forgiveness.

River it's awful that one. I just say photography. If they knew about Facebook and the blog, I'd be in deep shite.

Oh yes I have Nick! And it's illegal to discriminate on the basis of age. I just told them that I've worked with young people for the past 9 years which is the truth. I think I missed out on the job close to home because their eldest employee was 40! Clearly I wasn't funky enough.

Renee said...

Seriously even while I was laughing at your answers all I could think of is 'I am so glad I am not looking for a job and having to be asked that stuff.' I mean what do you say.

That is tough stuff.

Love Renee xoxo

Jill said...

Oh....good stuff!

Well, in my neck of the woods we are a bit artsy fartsy and there are some WEIRD questions to be answered...
~if you were jam or preserves what flavor would you be??
~referencing your previous post...if you named THE higher power...the maker and meaning of the earth/universe...what would it/his/her name be??

One more thing...can I come to your office and drink espresso with you when you ARE hired at the PERFECT work environment? I particularly like a amaretto latte!

Candie Bracci said...

LOL,this is so funny!A question,what time is Johnny arriving?

Kate said...

Aha any uniform???? Well in my last job anyone on my team not only had to wear a uniform but because I organised events - everyone had to take turns in the mascot outfit!!!

A great Big Teddy Bear!!!!!!!!!!!!!

laughingwolf said...

not even a titter? :O lol

Ribbon said...

wish you were here right now so I could give you a big hug :)

thanks for making me laugh out loud.

You're beautiful

xoxo Ribbon

PS I haven't been for a job interview for so long that I can't remember the last one :(
I've mostly worked in the arts ... after a time it becomes very much about word of mouth.
Being a fulltime Mum and now living in a different city from most of my working life I'm totally out of the loop and am just plain loopy :)

River said...

1. Why would you like to work for Parcels Direct?
1) I love giving gifts and sending parcels to their recipients seems
like it would be an extension of this.
2) I need the money, my rent is due every Friday…..

2. So, what are your weaknesses?
1) I often try to do it all and not ask for help when I need it.
2) Chocolate, daydreaming and money. I need the money to be able
to do the other two.

3. If you had three jobs lined up in front of you, what would make you choose
one over the other?
1) I would choose whichever job would be the most fun to do.
If you love your job it seems so much less like work.
2) The job with the highest pay rate per hour without going into overtime.

4. What is your greatest achievement?
1) Being able to work with different types of people and get along with everyone.
2) Eating chocolate every single day all my life and not being as big as a house.

5. So, how much would you like to earn?
1) A little more than my previous job would be nice, enough to live on and save a little.
2) As much as possible in the shortest amount of time, say $500,000 per year?

6. What’s your idea of the perfect job?
1) One where I can express my individual talents and style while still conforming
to company policy, not being too rigidly confined to rules and deadlines.
A job where I could have fun.
2) No dress code, music allowed, short hours, big pay.

7. Where would you like to work?
1) I’d like a job where inside and outside activities can be part of the work schedule.
This particular company seems to fit the bill.
2) At home, in my jammies.

8. What excites you, motivates you?
1) Making sure I learn a job quickly, then doing it to the best of my abilities.
I get great personal satisfaction from a job well done.
2) House design, I love to look at house plans and redesign them ,
move a wall here, add a window there…
3) money, money, money

9. What locations are you prepared to work in?
1) A variety of locations would be wonderful.
I’m prepared to move around if necessary.
2) Somewhere warm in winter, cool in summer.

10. Describe your perfect work environment.
1) Spacious, well lit, happy people, tolerant boss,
A place that helps you find your perfect niche,
But still encourages a person to step out of their
Comfort zone and learn new things.
2) Tahiti sounds nice……

So, how did I do, did I get the job???

River said...

P.S. Y'all can keep Johnny Depp. By the time you lot are finished with him, he won't be any good to me.....

Baino said...

Ah Renee, I'm an expert now. Two more interviews on Monday but not much seems to come of them. (One however is a direct application, not an agency so fingings crossed).

Jill at least that would be an ice breaker! And absolutely, I'll order the cordial. As for THAT post . . .her name would be that about which we do not speak!

Erm yeh, about that Candy . . .

I had to dress as an Orange once for a photo shoot! Not a good look for someine with jetty stump legs!

Ok Wuffles 'tee hee'

River, you have to laugh other wise you'd cry! Believe me, I'm getting plenty of practice so if it makes perfect, any day now and I'll crack a job!

River! Thanks for the hot tips. Some good 'acceptable' answers there and some hilarious . . .shouldn't be vocalised ones. I was given a spelling test on Thursday . .a spelling test I tell you!

Actually 10. is the way I usually answr and Tahiti is nice! Been there, done that! See you should blog . . .*nag nag* Yeh you're prolly right. Poor boy will be exhausted.

Ropi said...

As far as I remember you speak only English and you will rather find English speaker in Budapest than in Paris. They are too big headed to talk in English. Austria (you mentioned Vienna) and Australia have very similar names but it doesn't mean that their language is so similar as well. They speak German and in Venice they speak Italian. My question: how would you cope there if you don't speak these languages?

Baino said...

Ropi I didn't have any trouble with language in Austria. Most people I met spoke English pretty well an I travelled quite a lot there. I've only been right on the Border of Italy, Lake Majora actually and again, they spoke English. Probably because it was a touristy place. Clare went to Tolmeso, a small town in the Italian alps to visit the family of her friend and they didn't speak any English at all (Italians) so it was a challenge. I don't want to go to Paris for the people and I can speak enough French to get by!

Budapest is on my Agenda though! So look out!

Ropi said...

OK, I just found it contradictive. It is nothing like that I plan to go to Australia. Whoever tells me the nicest things about that country, I don't think it is an accident that British criminals were deported there.

California Girl said...

Had to come back to this one. My husband says his least favorite question is always,

"Why should we hire YOU?"

His answer,

"Because I'm here."