View Full Version : Job Interview Questions

10-17-2005, 04:46 AM
Hello Robots!

What's the hardest interview question you've had? I got asked once - "If your ex-boss had to give you some criticism what would it be?" I've struggled with having to be honest on that one.

What sorts of difficult questions have you been asked? How have you answered them?

10-17-2005, 05:09 AM
In my world, bullshit questions deserve bullshit answers, but that probably doesn't work in the real world.

How about: "He'd say I didn't cover up all his dumbass mistakes fast enough?"

10-17-2005, 05:44 AM
why are you leaving your current job?

10-17-2005, 06:11 AM
where do you see yourself in five years?

10-17-2005, 06:32 AM
Microsoft is famous for asking questions like, "How many piano tuners are there in the United States? How did you arrive at that number?"

10-17-2005, 06:36 AM
BTW my hardest interview question had to do with troubleshooting a three phase motor off a schematic.

I didn't know the answer but it turns out showing good thought process in technical troubleshooting is sometimes just as good as arriving at the correct answer.

10-17-2005, 07:36 AM
I once did some staff work... and we would get evaluated every 3 months... which is fairly standard in the corporate world I guess... as are the fucking questions... "where do you see yourself in this firm 5 years from now? 10 years? What do you think you can improve in your overall performance?" etc etc.

Personally, I think all these fucking questions are self incriminating bullshit that gives the employer another legal piece of evidence to use against you if they fire you and you decide to bring a case against them.

I've never answered any of these stupid evaluation questions and never will. My work, my participation, and my peer reviews should matter more.

But on the topic of interview questions, I was once trying to get contract design work with an art museum, and it was clear that the art department was very protective of its own ancient musty geriatric designers and not willing to employ younger designers. The work we brought along in our portfolio was tailored to the work they produced, in other words, we did our motherfucking research and didn't present shit that was out of line. One fucking cunt art director decided to ask if our work wasn't too "radical" for them. It was clearly a you're too young, you need to do more time through the ladder sort of a question. All we did was smile and answered no. You have to brush aside questions like that confidently.

We ended up doing work with another department in that organization.

10-17-2005, 07:51 AM
yeah, i was just asked that lame ass '5-years from now' question as well. eh. they don't really bother me, i just see them as a lame formality - more of a nervous 'habit' on the interviewers part, in my opinion. i don't think they even really give a shit nor pay attention about half the time. but who knows.

one i can't really stand though, is the 'what would you say is your greatest strength and weakness?'

generally, it seems that most employers simply want to hear that you are a team player, get along well with others (even if it's a lie), take direction well, yet are able to work independently and reliable etc. etc.

10-17-2005, 07:52 AM
'what would you say is your greatest strength and weakness?'

"I make enemies easily, then crush them like the insects they are!"

10-17-2005, 07:55 AM
The 5 year question is to gage your willingness to be part of the company slaves ship. My experience with negotiating salary... always aim high, have them come back to you with a counter, and meet midway. The higher you aim in salary requirement, the more your pitch needs to sound like a long term investment of talent for them.

10-17-2005, 08:07 AM
Finally getting out of the house and into the city I see! Good luck with the interview(s), AK. I'd give advise, but I tend to not interview well (although it has been a number of years since I have had to). I guess my only advise would be "don't be nervous".

10-17-2005, 08:10 AM
(Oh, and AK, my Amazon order finally came through. Should be sending out something soon, and watching Whale Rider sooner.)

10-17-2005, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by Iago
My experience with negotiating salary... always aim high, have them come back to you with a counter, and meet midway.

Yeah, don't undersell yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for how much you really want. It's unlikely the employer will say "Sorry, we're not paying that much, bye."

10-17-2005, 09:17 AM
um.. that really depends on the job and industry. i would use that approach carefully because in IT, they will say "Sorry, we're not paying that much, bye."

just play along and go with the flow. if you really think you're the shit and deserve more than they're offering, then just jump through the initial hoops.. get passed the lame HR screenings and interviews with low level employees. when you get to the interview with the hiring manger, that's when you negotiate your salary. he's the person that you want to convince that you're worth whatever $$ you're asking for.

10-17-2005, 09:32 AM
In our industry, HR is the last place one wants to contact. I've always been aggressive. If I want to talk to someone, or if I've been given a referral, I don't want to speak with a cog in the system. It's one person removed. HR should be an afterthought, a formality in our line of work.

10-17-2005, 09:34 AM
check this out from the library and read it cover to cover
It's not going to tell you everything you need to know, but it will give you some insight into what sort of answers these guys are looking for and what kind of questions you may expect.
I interview really poorly. but, I felt pretty confident after reading this book and aced my next two interviews. Before, I was just kind of going in without really knowing what they were looking to ask. Just doing relaly bad interview prep.
it doesn't even have to be this book specifically, I saw a bunch of books like this on the job related shelf.
But it's like the Iagster said, you have to prepare for the interview. You're asking the company to invest in you at $XXX/year. Confidence and preparation are going to go a long way.

Good Luck, angus.

10-17-2005, 09:38 AM
And arrive early! In the busines world, arriving early is on time. Arriving on time is late. And arriving late is failure.

There's a psychology to this in some ways. You're giving them, the hiring company (or client for that matter) a certain degree of power in being able to make you wait and also you are showing your eagerness. Just don't show up TOO early.

10-17-2005, 09:52 AM
HR's purpose is to prevent people from getting jobs. They are given a list of job requirements (which they probably don't undrestand too well) by somebody who very likely is not interested in writing it. They are much more comfortable filing insurnace papers and notifying the staff that it's time to clean out the refrigerator.

10-17-2005, 09:59 AM
HR is like the bouncer at the door telling people that the lounge is filled to capacity or that it's a private party. In reality, you need to know someone, buy bottle service (and then get to know someone), or you or someone in your company better have some nice tits.

10-17-2005, 10:00 AM
another thing my friends and i have noticed.. HR people are straight out belligerent lately. i've had a couple HR people act hostile towards me during the interview. it was really weird. maybe it's some new screening technique or something. but honestly, it doesn't put the company or its hiring practices in a good light.

10-17-2005, 10:19 AM
hostility is never good during an interview


10-17-2005, 10:23 AM
okay - i got a second interview during my lunch hour....
i'm meeting the CEO/VP of a construction company - a little nervous
should i brush up on my power tools knowledge?

10-17-2005, 10:33 AM
lose a few buttons on the shirt

10-17-2005, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by 650lex
okay - i got a second interview during my lunch hour....
i'm meeting the CEO/VP of a construction company - a little nervous
should i brush up on my power tools knowledge?
depends on the type of construction and the type of job. if you're actually going to be out there handling power tools, then it's probably a good idea.

if the job is more clerical, then you should research some basic construction concepts. like different types/classes of buildings, cost approach and market approach to contruction costs, and of course Word and Excel skills, and interpersonal skills.

10-17-2005, 11:05 AM
went on an interview last week & it went well

guy had pretty ambiguous and usual questions

"tell me about yourself"
"where could you see yourself in our company"
"why are you staring at my secretary's rack?"
"are you stoned?"
"can you please leave?"

it went well

10-17-2005, 11:51 AM
got back from my interview
the CEO ended it by saying to me, "you interview well"

wow, i just made sure i didn't say anything stupid...

10-17-2005, 12:04 PM
I can't stand HR. Even the phrase 'Human Resources' makes me reach for something blunt and heavy. I dislike being thought of as a resource. Why are you sitting in on this interview? You aren't going to ask me any relevant questions, you know nothing of what I do. In fact, I know you know nothing. You work in HR.

Sorry... I got a little carried away there.

10-17-2005, 12:12 PM
lucky for me the HR dept. here at my temp gig
is nice
too nice?
hmm...now i am getting suspicious....