Discussing :: Bad news - job interviews are getting tougher (and more surreal)


Kiwi Gas
Bad news - job interviews are getting tougher (and more surreal)

As the economic outlook gets gloomier, and jobs continue to be shed like autumn leaves, news comes in from the States of a new and rather disturbing practice - 'Extreme interviewing'. As the job market tilts firmly to the advantage of the bosses, extreme interviewing techniques are being deployed to sort the wheat from the chaff.

From the country that brought you waterboarding comes job interview questions like: 'Would you rather be an apple or a banana?' and 'Why are manhole covers round?'. Apparently, candidates at one company are told: 'Just entertain me for minutes; I'm not going to talk'.

Chief exponents of this new form of professional torture are Google, who receive a million job applications every year.

Not sure if this trend has hit NZ as yet, but I'm sure we've all been on the receiving end of some strange interview questions at one time or another. Thoughts?



so do you just walk in, get on your kness and give a job to get a job? hehehehehehehe...ow not again!!!!



....I was at an interview in Costa Rica years ago and was being interviewed by two men and a lady....and it was going well until it got to my hobbies and interests and one of the guys asked me what type of skirts I wear when I go out dancing, which was one of my interests and I just looked at him and then the female interviewer who didn't even twitch and I thought for a few seconds about my response and said well when going out anyway one would think clothing is essential don't you think....and he started laughing.....weirdo!....after the interview I jumped in the car, with my partner at the time...and when I told him he wanted to go in their and waste him but we left.....I was offered the job but told the person who called that me and my skirt have found other employment....ridiculous but o so true


that's so many forms of wrong there DeeDee. Good on you for telling them where to stick there job! but back to the point...what type of skirts do you wear when you go out dancing? lol :)


How bizarre. For the most part I have a thing for Costa Rican men, but I hate those two (and the woman) just on principal. I don't think I've ever had any inappropriate questions on job interviews. Once when i was interviewing for a nanny position I was asked if I'd mow the lawn. Er... no.


....I know that was bizzare and I was really put off by it too...especially considering the female didn't say or do anything....the other male looked like one of those guys on that show to catch a predator.....but yeah that interview was one to remember....I laugh about it now....but when it happened I was furious as was my partner at the time....but I totally agree Fi...I definitely have a thing and a weakness for Latino men in general....lol...as for you barnes10....no comment....lol



I struggle with job interviews as it is. If they pulled that bs on me I'd probably just sit there silently, twitching, for about half an hour.
Not looking forward to my next interview. Better just win lotto.



Good news for me - i'm a talker! One of my attributes is that I can babble on about any subject, and if I don't know what I am talking about I can sound VERY convincing of my knowledge on a subject - shouldn't be a problem for me (hopefully)



I've had questions like 'what's your main goal in life' which was designed to throw me (it didn't, I want to be happy). But I can't see what questions like 'would you rather be an apple or a banana' are designed to find out. Creativity? Imagination? I think the one I'd find hardest would be 'entertain us for a while', that would make me instantly freeze.



Your choice of words in communicating at a job interview are important! Recently I felt I was a bit too much with using some big words and that may've resulted in me not getting the job! Keep it simple (unless it's really needed to show you know something) and try match their 'team' without fully knowing it. It seems to be really important today - the "team fit".


I'd agree with your last statement about fitting into the team, John. And I kind of think no amount of 'trying to fit' really works. When I'm looking for cast and crew to work with me I generally pick people that I want to spend a lot of time with. I don't care how good a Director of Photography is, if s/he is annoying it's not going to work. And I've cast a few actors who were okay for the role, but their attitude was terrible which effected the whole team.



I'm finding it tough to even get an interview when I keep getting turned away for being 'Too Over Qualified'! WTF!!


I'm probably going to have that problem when I finish my PhD, I just won't tell people about it I guess. Fortunately I'm making a movie at the same time so I won't have a hole in my resume. Not that I'm big on writing resumes, it's more 'bios' for funding, really.



I guess we all need to do our home work when applying for a job. Only put in your CV what they want as a qualification, don't drop your BA (in this and that) on the table if it's not needed for a particular job.
Be confident but don't come across as too cocky, that can be a turn off.


There's such a fine line between confident and cocky. What do you think the difference is? For me it's almost like an attraction thing, if I find them attractive I think it's confident, but if i don't... False confidence is a big turn off though, I hate people who talk themselves up, and then don't even know how to keep the camera in focus (or whatever)


Yep interviewers can spot a fake and false confidence, they usually try to trip you up and put you under a bit of stress. I remember at one of my interviews there was three people spread out in the room talking over each other and firing questions at me all at once. I believe remaining calm is possible the best virtue.


Defintely agree! I have worked in the recruitment industry over the years and you would be surprised what some people put in their cv. I have read some that are over 15 pages long. I remember one that went right back to primary school (won the spelling bee) complete with certificates and letters from past employers including people they baby sat for at age 13. Be job relevant and keep it short, and if you are over qualified, make sure you detail why you applied for that particular job in a good cover letter/email. Explain why the company and you would be a good fit and what you would hope to get out of the job. And very very important seriously spell check both your cv and cover letter. Nothing looks worse than spelling the company name wrong or receiving badly copied cover letters that refer to some other job you think sounds great!!!



Good advice there. I guess the big question is - if they are firing questions at you trying to make you sweat/stress or just asking stupid irrelevant questions - do you want to be spending your days working with those sort of people? The job and workplace have to fit you as well.

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