interview extraordinaire

One of my very best friends and I, at different points this summer, found ourselves questioning our current career path and searching for a radically different one, at least in location, if not also in field. We joke that it’s a shame interviewing itself couldn’t be a job because we would both be excellent at it. Not that we’re particularly witty or overly intellectual or anything. I tried to think of what exactly it is within our personalities that allow us to claim ourselves as “interview extraordinaire’s”. My best guess is that everyone has a go-to thing or set of things that they do when they are placed in the limelight, or put in potentially awkward situations. Both of our go-to thing happens to involve getting extremely friendly, becoming overly talkative and interesting [far more so than I am in real life, I believe], and quite funny [if I do say so myself]. Overall and very generally speaking, I think what you say matters much less than how you say it. Are you articulate? Eloquent? Do you make them laugh – because who doesn’t like to laugh? Of course this is assuming the things you say don’t involve professing your support for bestiality or swearing like a sailor [that’s going to be a fun conversation later, when my future husband sees “term for sexual relations with animals” come up in the google search history]. At least I always thought interviewing was that easy. Turns out, that’s only because I never interviewed with Google, Amazon, or Apple…because Christ. Here’s the full list of the top 20 toughest interview questions but below I outlined a few of my favorites – with my “gut reaction” answers. Warning: they’re not good.

What is your biggest failing in your career? 

There’s no way I’d ever be able to answer this question seriously in an interview. My honest biggest failing is that I haven’t figured out a way to not wake up at 6am [or even 9am…] and work in my pajama’s and get paid to do it.

Why wouldn’t I hire you?

I have to say, I loved this question when I saw it. Why wouldn’t you hire me? If you were a schizophrenic. Or if you hated organized, productive people. Also if you were prejudice against those with brown eyes.

Tell me a joke.

This question would kill me on an interview. The single only joke I know: What would the pink panther say if he stepped on an ant? Dead-ant, dead-ant, dead-ant-dead-ant-dead-ant-dead-ant, dead-aaaaaaaant, dead-ant [sung, of course, to the appropriate tune]

A dwarf-killing giant lines up 10 dwarfs from shortest to tallest. Each dwarf can see all the shortest dwarfs in front of him, but cannot see the dwarfs behind himself. The giant randomly puts a white or black hat on each dwarf. No dwarf can see their own hat. The giant tells all the dwarfs that he will ask each dwarf, starting with the tallest, for the color of his hat. If the dwarf answers incorrectly, the giant will kill the dwarf. Each dwarf can hear the previous answers, but cannot hear when a dwarf is killed. The dwarves are given an opportunity to collude before the hats are distributed. What strategy should be used to kill the fewest dwarfs, and what is the minimum number of dwarfs that can be saved with this strategy?

The answer to this question was so ridiculously obvious to me that I’m pretty sure I’m still missing something. The dwarfs need a system where they say, for example, “UM, [their guess]” to mean the next dwarfs is wearing white and “I THINK, [their guess]” to mean the next dwarf is wearing black. There’s a 50/50 shot no dwarf will die and the only dwarf that could possibly die is the tallest one since no one can give him his warning. Comment below if you think there’s a flaw – or if you have a better answer!


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