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JaseNZ

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#153883 11-Oct-2014 09:21
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I was reading the other day about job interviews people have attended and some of the strange things they have been asked or asked to do.

It reminded me of about 10 years ago I was going for a management position within an international courier company in its head office here in nz.

First interview (I flew between cities to attend these interviews) , comprised of just standard questions and generality

I was called back for a second interview in which I under took not only a full on psychometric test but a full medical as well.

Finally I got a call a few weeks later to attend the 3rd interview and this time I was taken to another office block where there were 7 actors and you had to go through many different scenario's that were acted out and that you had to interact with.
To be honest that was quite fun however a little strange when one of the scenario's was a lady coming on to you and patting you on the bum hmmmm yeah how to handle sexual harassment.

That would have to be the most strangest experience I have had in a job interview , The others that I have had which has not been many have all been pretty standard.

Ever had a bizarre job interview ??





Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding : Ice cream man , Ice cream man


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nathan
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  #1151708 11-Oct-2014 09:40
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if you could be any animal, which one would you be?

why are manhole covers round?

what superpower would you like to have?

what is your themesong?






populism, the most important and misunderstood movement of our time


Sidestep
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  #1151791 11-Oct-2014 12:45
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We used to give bizzare job interviews.

We had an 'adventure tour' business in the Canadian Rocky mountains, and advertised for new tour guides each spring, receiving a flood of applications - often from young professionals, teachers, accountants, IT guys - looking for a lifestyle change.

'Personality' was the key for us, we'd provide training (class 4 licensing, certified guide training, first aid etc) if the potential employee had the right traits to build on.

Our customers were mainly the 18-35 backpacker market, so our initial interviews were in one of the backpackers hostels we picked guests up from.

A big old hostel fronting the diviest, run down, hooker infested part of that western city.

We'd interview in the waiting room, by the front desk where a security guard kept the street walkers & addicts out of the building, have our interviewees park in front so they wouldn't get mugged or have their cars broken into..

There was always something going on, deadlocked dudes running past screaming "Die kuche brennt"! Drunk people joining us explaining "Hubert mange le serpent"..

To really take them out of their comfort zone, an HR psychologist friend had given us some vocational aptitude testing advice, and we'd ask set questions like - what animal would you be? ( the reaction to the questions being as important as the answer)

The successful shortlist from the interviews went out on weeklong trial tours into the Rockies, hiking, caving, rock climbing, whitewater rafting.. with a group of 'special' guests and an experienced leader. The guests would rate the potential guides by questionnaire, we'd re-interview & make our job offers.

Sounds haphazard, but we had more success this way than with more formal systems.
Many went on to professional guiding careers, some remain personal friends.

Several people told us it was the weirdest interview they'd ever had.

 
 
 
 


Batman
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  #1151803 11-Oct-2014 13:08
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Rappelle: If your partner could have any super power, what would it be?


my super ex girlfriend




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


josephhinvest
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  #1151834 11-Oct-2014 14:29
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nathan:
why are manhole covers round?




Interestingly (to me, at least) the answer "because that's the only shape that won't fall thru its own hole" is not correct as there is at least one other constant-diameter shape that also does this, it's like a rounded triangle, like a rotor.

Cheers,
Joseph

alasta
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  #1151863 11-Oct-2014 15:35
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About ten years ago I had an interview with the Ministry of Education which was broken up into three activities over the course of the day:

 - Getting together in a group to debate which items we would take if we were stranded on a desert island.
 - A formal 'interview' which was really more like an ambush.
 - A computer based assessment which I never completed because their IT systems were stuffed.

About a week later they sent me back a rejection letter with a ten page write up of everything that was wrong with me, in such detail that even someone who's known me for years would struggle to compile accurately.

All I can say is I'm glad I never ended up working there.

ckc

ckc
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  #1151994 11-Oct-2014 20:35
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alasta: About ten years ago I had an interview with the Ministry of Education which was broken up into three activities over the course of the day:

 - Getting together in a group to debate which items we would take if we were stranded on a desert island.
 - A formal 'interview' which was really more like an ambush.
 - A computer based assessment which I never completed because their IT systems were stuffed.

About a week later they sent me back a rejection letter with a ten page write up of everything that was wrong with me, in such detail that even someone who's known me for years would struggle to compile accurately.

All I can say is I'm glad I never ended up working there.


I had something very similar with the UK Civil Service.

- Computer based tests
- Invited to complete similar tests at a regional centre in a controlled environment
- Invited to London for an assessment day, which involved:
   - Formal competence based interviews
   - Group sessions featuring representatives of a number of departments trying to decide whose plans take priorities in an earthquake disaster zone on a fictional Caribbean island
   - Writing an urgent media response
   - Writing a ministerial briefing
   - Psychometric testing

After that depending on your stream.

   - For GCHQ and technology based jobs, more testing
   - For Diplomatic Service, role play featuring a few actors
   - There was another stage for generalists, but I forget what that was

I totally flunked the group session though, even though the rest of the group adopted my department's position as a top priority. I flunked it so badly that it put me under the required points by a slim margin.

I was generally disinterested in the chaos, which they picked up on. But when someone suggest that their department wanted to get tourism back on the agenda ASAP and that should be a priority ahead of accommodation, food, medical care and water, I asked them which one they thought the travel companies would be interested in more: dysentery themed tours or the en suite tents.

The assessor did not like that at all.

oxnsox
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  #1152001 11-Oct-2014 21:14
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Flew to Sydney for an interview once, however industrial action meant didn't circled four a bit before diverting to Melbourne wer the only option was to sleep on the floor of the terminal.
Next morning, unwashed and in the suit I'd slept in I got to my interview. ...
Usual questions and testing along with a tour of the company they offered my the job.
Then spent the next hour talking me out of it on the basis they couldn't understand why I would be wanting to leave my then employer. I was too tired to think past what they were saying so agreed with them and rejected the offer and flew home.

 
 
 
 


DravidDavid
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  #1152013 11-Oct-2014 21:40
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Oh my gosh!  I thought it was just me!

I was contacted by what I thought was a professional company about a technical job I had applied for through a recruiting company.  I was bunched in with a group of grown adults and was probably the youngest adult in the room at 20 years old.  We were all in suits, dressed to the nines in a flush board room.

Everyone was treated like a child!  This was just the company introduction and she had spoken more about her kids and how fluffy her cat was, than the company itself.  Every one of us perfect strangers were giving each other that "look" of semi-outrage/disgust with a drop of hilarity.  The room came down from a staunch potential competition atmosphere to a "WTF is going on! We need to help each other to figure this out" atmosphere.  She left the room and you could hear the sighs of relief, and people dropping themselves in to the back of their chair as if exhausted by her weird and borderline disrespectful personality.  The only thing that I managed to say in an audible voice was "Ummm...", trying to process what I had just heard.  It crossed my mind that this was a practical joke and some of these people were in on it.  Perhaps I was the only one being tricked!  Could my girlfriend have organized such trickery?

She returned and went around the room asking everyone's name as she handed out pieces of paper, making bizarre comments about each, including mine. "Oh a nice biblical name.", she said.  I'd never heard anyone say that to me...ever.  On the paper was some sort of bizarre long answers, short answers multiple choice test.  It was jam packed with spelling errors and typos.  I ignored them and continued through, increasingly confused at the questions being asked and the motive behind them.  Some of the questions were down right stupid!  A lot of them references to video games I'd never heard of, as if the boss was fishing for people of similar interests, so he could talk to someone specifically about whatever the game was about.  One of them was a World of Warcraft reference, but I couldn't answer because I'd never played it in my life.  Another distinctive question I read was: "If Teflon is non stick, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan".  Seriously?  It was getting to the point where I actually couldn't stand the idea of working for whoever came up with this crap.

I completed the test and circled all the spelling mistakes and typos for sh*ts and giggles in the time I had before pens went down.  The "interviewer" started collecting the pages and the "funny guy" in the room was established.  "So, exactly how fluffy is your cat again?".  I think he was trying to buy more time as he was still writing.  It worked as he received a chuckle from the room including me...Admittedly, more of a nervous laugh than anything else.  This was my first group interview in the big bad world and I was starting to think this was the norm.  Everyone stopped chuckling as I witnessed a long side the others the strangest change in personality I have seen to date.  She glared at the joker as if he had just killed her entire family, including the cat. It was a bit scary, leaving me to decide if this was a joke or if she was bipolar.  She immediately started culling people after reviewing the "test".  Three people were essentially told to get jumped on right out of the gate, so I stood and left with them thinking I could get away in the most appropriate time possible. (when others were leaving, I hate being rude)

She caught me out.  "I don't believe I called your name, sit down honey".
 - "Oh I just need the bathroom, it's right there I'll be 2 minutes".  She turns around with her hand on my shoulder and addresses the room, "Oh, he needs the potty everyone..."  My blood was at boiling point!  It was as if Alfred Hitchcock was pulling focus in my eyes as vertigo took over.  It had gone from a funny weird joke like situation to totally insulting on a personal level as I was singled out of the group.  "Not really, I was just leaving because I feel like working for you would be a bad life decision.  Please remove your hand from my shoulder now." At this point, two others stood up and walked out with me close behind.  I'm not sure if they were also busting, or they felt the same way as I did.  We were greeted by two others in suits none of whom were in the interview previously and said to us: "We were waiting for that to happen".  They were subtly trying to to stop me with their body language moving towards me as I was making a bee line toward the door.  The two others stayed behind and I kept moving toward the exit as if they didn't exist ignoring their requests for me to come back, calling me by name as if they had been watching and profiling me the entire time.  I think they had figured out by now that I wasn't at all interested in the potty!

I slow jogged to my car, briefly considering turning around thinking the other two might actually be in some kind of danger.  I shook the idea thinking it was stupid...This is a proper company and they were all twice my freakin' age!

...It might not seem very weird and disturbing in text.  But as I write this, I can feel the room around me spinning as I recall the event, it was that creepy.  I stopped using recruiting companies all together and scheduled interviews on partially my own terms.  None of this showing up not knowing what to expect business, And certainly no group interviews.  If an employer is serious about hiring you...They will ask serious questions and keep it about why you want the job and let you explain how you might benefit the company.  Employers don't seem to understand that respect is a two way street in an interview.  Too bad some of the unemployed are so desperate for a job they aren't willing to tell them they are being disrespectful.

I eventually got a job with a telecommunications company in an interview with the recruiting manager and later with the call centre manager and HR.  Later again, I was told of other employees in a similar group interview situation were asked to help plan a NASA space mission and ration goods and prioritize for various events.  I thought to myself, "That sounds normal...Why was my experience so stuffed up!".

- TL;DR:  Experienced the most bizzar and semi-frightening group interview of my life.  The first and only group interview I had attended.  Childish behavior and insults forced me out of the room only to be tailed to the exit by two other strange men while I high tailed it to my car in the parking lot.

P.S: If somehow, some way someone here recognises this situation and were there in person...Or you were one of the two guys that left with me, I'd like to chat!  Never got to talk to any of the others that were in the interview...I was too busy driving at ramming speed.





Sometimes what you don't get is a blessing in disguise!

Geektastic
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  #1152036 11-Oct-2014 22:39
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alasta: About ten years ago I had an interview with the Ministry of Education which was broken up into three activities over the course of the day:

 - Getting together in a group to debate which items we would take if we were stranded on a desert island.
 - A formal 'interview' which was really more like an ambush.
 - A computer based assessment which I never completed because their IT systems were stuffed.

About a week later they sent me back a rejection letter with a ten page write up of everything that was wrong with me, in such detail that even someone who's known me for years would struggle to compile accurately.

All I can say is I'm glad I never ended up working there.


SWMBO worked there for a while contracting. Even $1000 a day was not enough to keep her there when they wanted to renew. You had a lucky escape, believe me. From her reports, the place is as mad as a box of frogs.

My own best interview was for a job in the UK. 2 of the 3 interviewers had been at the same University as me and done the same course. We all had our College ties on for the interview!

They rang me a week later and asked me for a second interview that consisted of a day's driven pheasant shooting!

A week later they offered me the job.





solival
160 posts

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  #1152586 13-Oct-2014 10:39
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josephhinvest:
nathan:
why are manhole covers round?

Interestingly (to me, at least) the answer "because that's the only shape that won't fall thru its own hole" is not correct ...

I would say to allow ninja turtles to go through them :)

reven
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  #1152620 13-Oct-2014 11:05
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DravidDavid: Oh my gosh!  I thought it was just me!

I was contacted by what I thought was a professional company about a technical job I had applied for through a recruiting company.  I was bunched in with a group of grown adults and was probably the youngest adult in the room at 20 years old.  We were all in suits, dressed to the nines in a flush board room.

Everyone was treated like a child!  This was just the company introduction and she had spoken more about her kids and how fluffy her cat was, than the company itself.  Every one of us perfect strangers were giving each other that "look" of semi-outrage/disgust with a drop of hilarity.  The room came down from a staunch potential competition atmosphere to a "WTF is going on! We need to help each other to figure this out" atmosphere.  She left the room and you could hear the sighs of relief, and people dropping themselves in to the back of their chair as if exhausted by her weird and borderline disrespectful personality.  The only thing that I managed to say in an audible voice was "Ummm...", trying to process what I had just heard.  It crossed my mind that this was a practical joke and some of these people were in on it.  Perhaps I was the only one being tricked!  Could my girlfriend have organized such trickery?

She returned and went around the room asking everyone's name as she handed out pieces of paper, making bizarre comments about each, including mine. "Oh a nice biblical name.", she said.  I'd never heard anyone say that to me...ever.  On the paper was some sort of bizarre long answers, short answers multiple choice test.  It was jam packed with spelling errors and typos.  I ignored them and continued through, increasingly confused at the questions being asked and the motive behind them.  Some of the questions were down right stupid!  A lot of them references to video games I'd never heard of, as if the boss was fishing for people of similar interests, so he could talk to someone specifically about whatever the game was about.  One of them was a World of Warcraft reference, but I couldn't answer because I'd never played it in my life.  Another distinctive question I read was: "If Teflon is non stick, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan".  Seriously?  It was getting to the point where I actually couldn't stand the idea of working for whoever came up with this crap.

I completed the test and circled all the spelling mistakes and typos for sh*ts and giggles in the time I had before pens went down.  The "interviewer" started collecting the pages and the "funny guy" in the room was established.  "So, exactly how fluffy is your cat again?".  I think he was trying to buy more time as he was still writing.  It worked as he received a chuckle from the room including me...Admittedly, more of a nervous laugh than anything else.  This was my first group interview in the big bad world and I was starting to think this was the norm.  Everyone stopped chuckling as I witnessed a long side the others the strangest change in personality I have seen to date.  She glared at the joker as if he had just killed her entire family, including the cat. It was a bit scary, leaving me to decide if this was a joke or if she was bipolar.  She immediately started culling people after reviewing the "test".  Three people were essentially told to get jumped on right out of the gate, so I stood and left with them thinking I could get away in the most appropriate time possible. (when others were leaving, I hate being rude)

She caught me out.  "I don't believe I called your name, sit down honey".
 - "Oh I just need the bathroom, it's right there I'll be 2 minutes".  She turns around with her hand on my shoulder and addresses the room, "Oh, he needs the potty everyone..."  My blood was at boiling point!  It was as if Alfred Hitchcock was pulling focus in my eyes as vertigo took over.  It had gone from a funny weird joke like situation to totally insulting on a personal level as I was singled out of the group.  "Not really, I was just leaving because I feel like working for you would be a bad life decision.  Please remove your hand from my shoulder now." At this point, two others stood up and walked out with me close behind.  I'm not sure if they were also busting, or they felt the same way as I did.  We were greeted by two others in suits none of whom were in the interview previously and said to us: "We were waiting for that to happen".  They were subtly trying to to stop me with their body language moving towards me as I was making a bee line toward the door.  The two others stayed behind and I kept moving toward the exit as if they didn't exist ignoring their requests for me to come back, calling me by name as if they had been watching and profiling me the entire time.  I think they had figured out by now that I wasn't at all interested in the potty!

I slow jogged to my car, briefly considering turning around thinking the other two might actually be in some kind of danger.  I shook the idea thinking it was stupid...This is a proper company and they were all twice my freakin' age!

...It might not seem very weird and disturbing in text.  But as I write this, I can feel the room around me spinning as I recall the event, it was that creepy.  I stopped using recruiting companies all together and scheduled interviews on partially my own terms.  None of this showing up not knowing what to expect business, And certainly no group interviews.  If an employer is serious about hiring you...They will ask serious questions and keep it about why you want the job and let you explain how you might benefit the company.  Employers don't seem to understand that respect is a two way street in an interview.  Too bad some of the unemployed are so desperate for a job they aren't willing to tell them they are being disrespectful.

I eventually got a job with a telecommunications company in an interview with the recruiting manager and later with the call centre manager and HR.  Later again, I was told of other employees in a similar group interview situation were asked to help plan a NASA space mission and ration goods and prioritize for various events.  I thought to myself, "That sounds normal...Why was my experience so stuffed up!".

- TL;DR:  Experienced the most bizzar and semi-frightening group interview of my life.  The first and only group interview I had attended.  Childish behavior and insults forced me out of the room only to be tailed to the exit by two other strange men while I high tailed it to my car in the parking lot.

P.S: If somehow, some way someone here recognises this situation and were there in person...Or you were one of the two guys that left with me, I'd like to chat!  Never got to talk to any of the others that were in the interview...I was too busy driving at ramming speed.


damn I want to know want to know what happened to those guys?  I hate mysteries....

wasabi2k
2092 posts

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  #1152662 13-Oct-2014 11:36
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Been contracting the last 5 years - tends to go in 2 phases

1. Recruiter
Fill out questionnaire to populate their DB - meet recruiter - 10-15 minute chat about areas of interest, experience and background - any questions about CV. If they have roles they describe them and give you a change to express interest or not.

2. The company hiring
1-3 people, similar questions to recruiter, describe the role, background, experience etc. The usual bollocks (your biggest strength, weakness etc).

Never had more than 1 interview with the company hiring, no psychometric testing and definitely no medical. But contractors are easy to hire/fire and are usually expected to be generally more accomplished or professional (in my experience).

Similar experience before contracting - as most 2 meetings with general questions and negotiation on remuneration.

Edit: Interviewing effectively is a highly desirable and rare skill. I am useless and far too trusting. The majority of organisations I have worked for are TERRIBLE at it. Bad hires cost a fortune.

The worst culprits tend to be dedicated HR people - who use ridiculously overwrought methods to justify their existence. If you are hiring a CFO/CEO I can understand 3+ interviews and psychometric testing. A systems engineer does not need the same level of work. Experience, references and reputation are far more useful.

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