Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Interviewing for Fun and Profit!

Sometimes interviewing people is fun. They are usually quite nervous and you are usually hoping you aren't wasting your time. Interviewing people for positions is a necessary function of any business owner, however, it can be vexing sometimes.

I have had one at least three occasions, the interview questioning to go something like this:

Q: Tell me one of your faults or something you would change about yourself.

A: Well, sometimes I get into trouble because I care too much. I really try too hard to make the customer happy and to be the best employee possible. My co-workers sometimes hold this against me because they don't care about the company like I do.

At this point, I know I am dealing with a special someone who read a book or an article on interview questions. The people make life fun! So here is where I pull out my super-secret question that is sure to stump them:

Q: If you were a co-worker of yourself, and you, the co-worker, were to interview you, the other co-worker, for a possible promotion to be your new boss. (Not your boss, but your boss.) What questions would you not like to hear from yourself about you being in charge of you and as a second part to this question: how would you answer yourself in those questions in order not to completely answer those questions... that you asked... of yourself?

To this, the candidate would either freak out or worse, try to answer the question.

I also like the questions that ask people to think a little bit. I have tried this before after learning how Microsoft hires only the smartest people. (We know this because the employees of Microsoft in their PR department told us how smart they were. )

Here is my intelligence tester:

Q: Explain to me why manhole covers are round.

To this I have had a wide range of answers. Here are the best:

A: Manhole covers are round because they need to be round to cover the round hole.

A: They are round because that is what shape the holes are. (Same as above)

A: Manhole covers are round because the government requires them to be round.

A: Manhole covers are round?

Of course, the answers are pretty logical:

A: They are round because the round cover will not fall into a round hole. In addition, round covers require less material (steel) than square ones. Round covers fit regardless of how you turn them. A worker's body fits best into a round hole. The pipe system that they go into is also round thereby being easier to connect than a square hole.

Drop me a line or message this post with your favorite interview questions. I should note, I only ask the silly questions of jerks and arrogant SOBs.


tim said...

i'll admit this is a bit snobbish, but i always asked people to finish the following quote: "i accidentally spilled spot remover on my dog..."

the answer is from stephen wright, and is: "...now i can't find him". if they can finish the quote i know maybe one of two things, that they have heard stephen wright before or they are clever enough to come up with the answer. either way, if they know it, i know a bit more about their sense of humor, which was always important to me.

very enjoyable blog you have, btw

tim burns

Ron Brahin said...

1. What is your greatest asset?

2. Tell me about a failure that you turned around?

3. Why should I hire you?

4. What is your weakness?

5. Are you a leader or a follower and why?