Why is it that when a regular person says things that are ridiculous, stupid or has no proof its called “Talk out of your ass” but when a politician, President, governor or mayor says the same things its called politics?
There comes a time in every managers tenure, that one must consider the questions and procedures of an interview must change. With a plethora of pondering and possibilities of skills that one possesses, why does it seem to fit to still ask those dreaded redundant questions of old? These are the questions not of which focus on what the achievements and accomplishments of the interviewed or the possibilities of future such instances but the questions that have the highest potential to be a look into an imaginary world of self-assurance and ass kissing.
With the deep sedated pool of available talent looking for employment, one desires to find the best individual for the position. Therefore it is only logical to ask questions that will isolate the distinct individual just right for the job. These questions are micro specific and focuses on the field and position, not questions of the macro general field of desires, aspirations and dreams.
I am bringing this up because in the second round of interviews for a position at my company, our idiotic and lazy (to say the least) Finance Director must have not had enough energy to think of logical questions to ask and instead scour the internet for the top 10 basic interview questions and decided that was good enough. God forbid he actually for once uses his own words to ask or explain anything. His questions were the exact questions you would hear in an interview for a fast-food chain or basic job.
The following will show the questions asked with a proud grin and the answers I would have loved to hear:
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I see myself alive and wondering why you were even invited to this interview.
Q: Why are you looking for a new place to work? (no joke, it was actually asked this way)
A: Because it was too boring. When I get bored with something I move on to something more exciting.
Q: What are your greatest strengths?
A: Putting up with redundant and useless questions. Oh and I can bench 325.
Q: What are you weaknesses?
A: My traveling joint pain, which causes me to take time off to work without notice.
Q: What is your work ethic like, you know in terms of working? (again not a joke, actually per datum)
A: Well I like to wake up around 8 or 9 and eventually make it into work, then I require at least a 45 minute nap either before or after lunch and I do not like working over time. Also I will not do anything outside the scope of my job description.
Q: In your mind why should we hire you? (seriously? I didn’t expect the interviewed to answer that question with someone elses thoughts)
A: Because you need someone to fill the position and I want a posh secure job that doesn’t require a lot of effort.
Imagine arriving at your potential new employer, rehearsed and thinking positive. You sit down in front of a panel of three; An older gentleman in a 3 piece suit, binder and note taking utilities in hand, a younger gentleman dressed very casual looking like he was dragged in just for the hell of it with a goofy grin on his face and a shaved bald gentleman, intimidating and rugged looking like a bouncer asked to sit in to keep the peace. Your palms sweat and your lungs fluctuate intensely filling with air and collapsing on each breath. You take one last deep breath when the older gentleman opens his mouth and says “Let’s begin.”
Your resume is reviewed and obviously already answered questions are asked that you easily spew the answers from your mind out through your mouth. An introduction about what the company is and who we are is dribbled out to you slowly and painfully boring, yet you listen eagerly waiting for the juicy meat and potatoes of the interview to kick in. Finally, a question that you have to put some serious thought and intellect into answering. After the sentences have formed and you are glowing with confidence, the words come out. While your answers are impressing the panel, the older gentleman across from you interrupts and begins to reminisce about the olden days, continuing on for what seems like a short novel. Each question that is asked and for each answer that you have prepared, you begin to notice that the interview is beginning to focus not on you but instead hones in on the elder gentleman’s past experiences.
The beads of sweat on your forehead have evaporated and have turned into salty white trails and the clams that once laid nervously in your palms have shut tight and buried themselves deep away under your skin. As the lone story-teller in the interview asks you if there are any questions and as you ask your logical question the story continues with an enigmatic answer to your question. Wait what was that? A joke or actually a crass realization of intelligence of progress slithers from the intimidating bald gent and as laughter fills the room your body releases its tight grip of stress and you slouch in relief, as you now realize that even though your answers were muted and hidden behind a repetitive story, they were still heard by the other audiences in the room. As you all rise to commemorate the end of this long journey down memory lane, you are relaxed and confidently stroll out of the building thinking to yourself… “During an interview sometimes it is not what you say that gets you the job, it is the muting of your ideologies and own experiences conversely the opening of your mind to what story is being relayed that does the trick.”
Good luck Mr. Irons, you did very well and it was a pleasure intimidating you today.