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  • #979562
    Cat – GLC
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    It has been a while since I have been on Flying Solo but that is hopefully all about to change.

    I am in the process of putting on an employee and going through the interview process which got me thinking, what has been the most unusual interview question you have asked someone or have been asked?

    I remember a question that went along the lines of if you had four chickens and two cats how many feet are there in total?

    I’m sure there are some interesting ones out there:rolleyes:

    Cat :)

    #1115220
    adrian
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    Probably the standard now started as a question at Google – “Why are manhole covers round?” It’s meant to be like a Zen koan, an unanswerable question, so you can see how people explore ideas and cope with questions they can’t answer…

    Oh, my favorite answer “Because manholes are round.”

    #1115221
    JohnTranter
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    I was seriously asked this during an interview for a consultancy job :
    “You have 5 jars of pills. Each pill weighs 10 gram, except for contaminated pills contained in one jar, where each pill weighs 9 gm. Given a scale, how could you tell which jar had the contaminated pills in just one measurement?”

    Luckily I actually already knew the answer, my Dad and I are puzzle nerds and went through a phase of emailing stupid puzzles to each other.

    I’ve also been asked
    “Have you ever worked with someone whom no one could work with? How did you manage that relationship?”

    #1115222
    NathanB
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    My favourite interview question to ask is:

    If I were to make contact with your previous employers and speak to some people that weren’t listed here in your references. What do you think they would say about you? – I always follow up with “and you wouldn’t mind if I did this?”

    #1115223
    sam_leader
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    Welcome back to the forums Cat!

    I like that idea, Nathan, you’d be able to tell a lot about a person depending on their response to that.

    Along the same lines, I like to ask the ‘how would you describe yourself in three adjectives?’ and then follow up with ‘how would your loved ones describe you?’ If there’s a wild discrepancy I’d be cautious.

    When we recruited our Editor candidates there was a real divergence of answers to the question ‘how do you like your tea or coffee’ ranging from the ‘I don’t drink either for health reasons’ to ‘one flat white a day in a keep cup’ to ‘I need an espresso before I speak to anyone’ (that last one describes Robert, coincidentally.)

    Finally you might want to peruse our Member Spotlight section for other examples of questions that attempt to find out about the person behind the business.

    Hope this helps.

    Sam

    #1115224
    NathanB
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    sam_leader, post: 129279 wrote:
    I like that idea, Nathan, you’d be able to tell a lot about a person depending on their response to that.

    Thanks Sam. The reason why I find asking that particular question so powerful is because it’s immediately puts candidate on the spot to give an honest interpretation of qualities. The reason why I ask if they wouldn’t mind me following this up is because I usually do. This one question + the follow up sorts the great candidates from the average candidates.

    I have only had one or two people ask me not contact their current employer as their employer was unaware of their desire to exit/move on.

    #1115225
    bluepenguin
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    “What is the difference between a duck?”

    Actually, it’s from a job interview in a movie… this is the only good part of possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SE0fhflzoHM (Language warning)

    #1115226
    Rico
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    JohnTranter, post: 129264 wrote:
    “You have 5 jars of pills. Each pill weighs 10 gram, except for contaminated pills contained in one jar, where each pill weighs 9 gm. Given a scale, how could you tell which jar had the contaminated pills in just one measurement?”

    Ok, this is driving me crazy… :D please what’s the answer?

    #1115227
    JohnTranter
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    Rico, post: 129313 wrote:
    Ok, this is driving me crazy… :D please what’s the answer?

    It’s a bit of a mind bender. I probably won’t explain it well, but this is my answer.

    You take 1 pill from the 1st jar, 2 pills from the 2nd jar, 3 pills from the 3rd jar and so on.
    You now have 15 pills. (1+2+3+4+5)
    Weigh the 15 pills.

    If jar 1 contains the poison, the total weight would be 149 grams
    (14×10 + 1*9)

    If jar 2 contains the poison, the total weight would be 148 grams
    (13*10 + 2*9)

    and so on…

    #1115228
    MyGreatIdea
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    I don’t know that they were unusual questions, but at my son’s interview for an apprenticeship they asked what his parents did for a living, if he had any siblings, and what they did for a living.

    It was all about determining the work ethic within the family (I think) and we must have passed because he got the job lol. Some would say that they were questions you’re not supposed to ask, but I thought it was a smart way of getting a feel for how he had been raised.

    Wendy :)

    #1115229
    James Millar
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    Whilst we haven’t done this but I’ve heard some are.

    We like our people to be well rounded team players and that generally includes maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Would you be happy to accept us as a friend on your facebook page so we learn a little more about you?

    It’s probably more about the response / body language than the actual answer. If they whip out an iphone and start deleting facebook pictures of naked partying in vegas then you’ll have some good insight. Could be a plus depending on what you’re after for your xmas party.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1115230
    bluepenguin
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    Oh… the amount of people that apply for jobs and leave their facebook pages public.

    #1115231
    JohnTranter
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    JamesMillar, post: 129348 wrote:
    We like our people to be well rounded team players and that generally includes maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Would you be happy to accept us as a friend on your facebook page so we learn a little more about you?

    My understanding is that this is a dangerous game for the employer because they would then be assumed to have access to information you wouldn’t normally be allowed to ask in an interview situation.

    e.g. If the person’s Facebook contains messages about them trying for another baby. Or information about them being gay

    I think it’s a bit of a possible legal minefield, especially if the job applicant is then unsuccessful.

    #1115232
    Cat – GLC
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    bluepenguin, post: 129354 wrote:
    Oh… the amount of people that apply for jobs and leave their facebook pages public.

    It is amazing the people that do this. You should at least make sure your profile pic is at least not offensive in any way while applying for jobs.

    Oh the pictures I have seen 😮

    #1115233
    SuzsSpace
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    It’s a potential minefield for some of my friends.

    I’d be quite happy to say ‘yes but it gets a bit mad on my Facebook page’.

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