Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Worst Interview Questions

Over the years, I have interviewed for a job or two, and have been asked some pretty bizarre questions, including the following:

1) If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? (Note: Apparently, the right answer is not "The Larch.")

2) How many felonies do you have?

3) I have stolen a pie. Have you ever stolen a pie? How about something else?

How about you? What's the weirdest interview question you have been asked?

Will you please show me your fingernails? Will you stand up there and twirl around? Seriously. Interview was 1973. That should have been a clue about management and the job that was to follow. But my mom was nagging me to get a job. 35 years later... Did you REALLY say "larch?" And why,specifically "larch?" I actually like weird questions myself. By the way,the correct answer is "willow." "Larch" made me laugh though.
I'm more likely to ask the odd question as the interviewee (or rather, the interviewee's spouse). When NAW interviewed for different jobs, I asked what the night life was like in one small town. For the record, we have no night life. At the time, our social life consisted of watching our dogs scratch themselves, and now it involves removing various stains from our upholstery. I've also asked how many gyms there are in a given community. Just out of curiosity, I guess.
First of all, I love to interview....

Maybe the weirdest (best?) question ever asked was when I was interviewing with Abbott Labs in the early 90s. One of the questions on the application was "Are you competitive"? I had answered yes. The interviewing manager at the time said, "well, you say you're competitive, but how do I really know that...."? (We were sitting at the Waco Hilton in the Lobby). And at the time, I thought to myself, you know, this is a great question...how WOULD he know that? And I answered with a few feeble answers of how I was competitive as a college kid, etc....but he kept at it...saying, "well, you SAY that, but how would I know that".

So, I said....."this is really a great question. I'll tell you what, why don't you arm wrestle me? ( I know, it's a Texas thing), and though I may not win, you'll know that I'm going to try my damnest to" (and I said those words).

And so we did. And he won.

But, I got the job!
There was something wrong with that interviewer. I have a larch and it is a beautiful tree.
"If someone you supervised had offensive body odor consistently, how would you address the situation?"

I wish I could remember now how I answered the question. I think I was so stunned that I blocked it out.
"I LOVE Howard Stern! Why DIDN'T you try to become a professional DJ like him?"

I was interviewing for a job with a Congressional Office.
I was once asked which character on "The Office" I'm most like. Considering that they are all, on the whole, designed to reflect aspects of terrible workers, I didn't really see a good way through the question. At least I didn't pick Dwight...
Trevor - did you pick Creed? Probably my favorite of the secondary characters.
Why are manhole covers round?
AZ-- so that they will not fall in the hole. They have a rim on the top that is bigger than the hole, and cannot go down.

Is that the right answer? What did you say?
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