For some light relief, take a look at the the 25 Top Oddball Interview Questions of 2011, as compiled by Glassdoor.com, a website that allows people to say what they really think about the company they work for. These questions were ones that were really asked in interviews, apparently. My favourite (and I say that sitting here in the comfort of my own home and not sweating in an interview) is “Just entertain me for five minutes. I’m not going to talk”. How would I answer? Nervous laugh? A song and dance routine. Tell the guy he’s a complete ar*e and walk out? I don’t know and I hope I never have to provide that answer.
Nor would I want to prove that Germans are the tallest people in the world, or If I was a Microsoft Office program which one would I be? One question which put me in mind of the dreaded employee of the month award was “If you could be #1 employee but have all your coworkers dislike you or you could be #15 employee and have all your coworkers like you, which would you choose?”. Tricky. Almost as tricky as how you’d get an elephant into a refrigerator. Potential answer? “Bovvered? Do I look bovvered?”
The one I’d feel happiest answering though is “If you could be a superhero, what power would you possess?”. My answer? The power to detect bullsh*t well in advance.
Try as I might I can’t think of any witty or pithy responses to any of these questions. I’m sure my fear of being out of work, whilst motivated at least 90% by wondering how to pay the mortgage is also a fear of having to sit in an interview and try and be polite whilst facing cretinous questions like these. Apparently George Melly, the late great Jazz singer once was cornered by a group of thugs intent on beating him up. He managed to escape by loudly reciting a Dada -ist poem that convinced his would be assailants that he must be deranged, so they left him alone. It seems like a good idea to me.
The subject of complete nonsense takes me nicely on to Lucy Kellaway’s most recent podcast. It’s only 5 minutes long and well worth listening to – click here Listen to Lucy – The Guff Awards 2011
In it Lucy reveals her choices for the most vacuous bit of corporate jargon from the last year – mission statements, promises to give 100,000% to the job and so forth. She also gives an award for the best (ie worst) euphemism for redundancy. The company concerned announced that it was “managing for value”.
God help us all.
On the bright side as we hurtle towards Miserable Monday – which is the 16th I think – Thierry Henry scored on his return to Arsenal and the all conquering England (Test) Cricket Team are due to play a series in Dubai against Pakistan.
Happy New Year!