It is fairly clear that I would not be able to get a job with Rockwell (a web hosting company) or the Kerry Group (food ingredients company).
This is because I would have to answer, in the selection interview, "How would you react if you were shot in the head with a Nerf gun?" (Rockwell) or "Is a Jaffa Cake, a cake or biscuit ?" (Kerry). Since I do not know what a Nerf Gun or Jaffa Cake is, it can be safely assumed that I would flunk the interview.
The Glassdoor Blog chronicles each year the weirdest questions that companies have been known to ask in interviews. It of course makes extremely interesting reading and I would strongly recommend it instead of that useless report you are writing at this minute ! How would you answer to ""How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the US each year?" (Goldman Sachs !), or "Can you instruct someone how to make an origami "cootie catcher" with just words?" (Living Social), or, "If you were a pizza deliveryman how would you benefit from scissors?" (Apple)
Apparently these seemingly weird questions are designed to assess "creativity" and "lateral thinking". Bullshit. Anybody who says he can fathom creativity from an answer to a weird question in a pressure cooker artificial setting like an interview is just fibbing.
Long time readers of this blog would know that this blogger rather enjoys needling HR types. It has just been noticed that this breed has been spared a long time from good natured ribbing. So this post is to "restore the balance"!
I am of the opinion that the unified theory in astrophysics will be solved before we can fathom what goes on inside the recruitment department of a company. As anybody who has ever sent a CV to a company knows, even black holes cannot match the disintegrating capability of a HR department. CV's vanish without a trace - has anybody ever got an acknowledgement of a CV ever ? And then by some miracle unexplained, you will get a call at 11.14 in the night requiring you to be present for an interview at 6.24 in the morning the very next day in a location 83 miles away from your home. By heroic efforts you land at the spot at 6.15 only to find that the office is locked and won't open till 9.30 AM. You hang around not wanting to miss the opportunity. At 10.00 the office is opened and you are ushered into a windowless room and told to cool your heels. Hours come and go by and you realise you have been forgotten. You timidly approach the security guard again and remind him that you have been sitting bolt upright for the last four hours without even going to the loo. He takes pity on you and promises to inform the HR department. 3 hours later a lady of gargantuan proportions barges in and orders you to proceed for an interview . You land in another room and wait for another half an hour. A constipated owl enters, mobile to the ear, and proceeds to finish a call for the next 15 minutes. Sundry suits land up. The interview is supposed to begin. The interviewers realise that they have no idea what they are interviewing for. Of course, they haven't seen your CV. They don't even know your name. They take your copy of the CV from you and start skimming. And they ask you to begin narrating your background in your own words because they are illiterate and can't read your CV.
I challenge any HR type to prove that this is not an accurate reflection of the truth.
And then, if you are asked "Can you say: "Peter Pepper Picked a Pickled Pepper" and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time?" (Mastercard), I declare that it is acceptable grounds for defence against a charge of murder !!