Friday, June 13, 2008

Don't Hire a Grump

Corporate hiring processes are bad. Small businesses following corporate hiring practices is bizarre. IQ is a poor measuring stick. Factual sentences are plain.

I'm applying for all sorts of different jobs. The best two so far were a dog-sitting/walking gig and a writing position with a startup local magazine focused on sustainability. Didn't get the dog one, still waiting on the magazine.
I've had several interviews. The most corporately obnoxious was the application process to be the H*rtz R*ntal C*r company rental return car checker. Look the car over, clean it up, fill the tank, repeat. The initial resume I had to type into the classifieds website. That sent me to the He*tz site where I had to do the same. Then a Her*z lady called me up explain the job to me and to set up a phone interview. The same lady called me up two hours later for that interview.
A typical question:
Explain a time that a customer asked you to do something you weren't allowed to and how did you handle it?
After about 20 of these mind-numbing inanities she congratulated me on getting the answers "right" as it was a Pass or Fail type questionnaire. Then she emailed me a 8 page thingy looking to confirm that yes I claim I'm not a felon and yes they can poke in my pee whenever they like and of course I'm available 24/7/365. Which I need to print out and fax back so they can give the file to the local Mgt for them to decide if I'll be invited in to interview at the actual location.

Holy Fucking God. Just who are they trying to filter out with this overgrown bullshit? People without persistence. Individuals with anything better to do with their time??

What's entirely worse are the interviews I've had at a couple of small companies that have had multiple viable applicants for the same position. Excepting the dog-walking one, every single one has been under 5 minutes and has failed to ask a single question that wasn't a Pass or Fail option (Are you good with people? Do you need assistance walking?). There was no way at all to distinguish oneself. How the winner was chosen is utterly beyond me.
I know I'm particularly bad at taking the obvious questions and presenting myself in a glowing light, but shit, don't these interviewers see the downfall of hiring "talented question answerers?" This windmill is being tilted at by me in a similar way my cousin used to tilt at SAT and IQ determining tests. And he was right. These tests test first and foremost - test taking abilities. I kept my mouth shut in High School, I was a wonderful test taker.
But here in the real world, I'm a terrible self-promoting interview taker. I was hoping more people had seen through the stupid of asking "Name a time you disagreed with your supervisor and how did you handle it?". Maybe I should type up all the stupid questions I can think of and memorize good answers to be handy with. You know, like how I got glowing IQ returns.


Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

"IQ, in children, is a predictor of how well they will do in school; essentially a test to see how good they are at tests. That is all it was designed for. Yes, it correlates to a certain extent with success in life, but that's not the whole story. Do not give up your day job, but also do not give up your dreams. You are not a number, you are a free man (or woman)."

- Eideteker on Metafilter

June 13, 2008 at 4:59 PM  
Anonymous JVS said...

I worked in HR for over 4 years. It was my job to come up with those exact type of retarded questions you speak of, and to ask them to potential new-hires. It was very fucking lame. These interviewers probably don't give a shit about your answers to any of them. Since the person interviewing you is most likely the same person you will have to go to if you have any issues/problems while working there (management or Human Resources), they are usually trying to find people who are going to be the most subservient and least likely to cause any problems or stir the pot while at work. Just make up some lame canned fake answers about how awesome you handled yourself in some made up situations and you will be good as gold. Use the same answer for every question even, and you should be fine. Good luck on the job hunt!

June 14, 2008 at 11:56 PM  
Anonymous Pat said...

One of my favorite interview questions we ask is, "Are you nice?"

I actually love that question because it reveals more than you'd think. If someone laughs a little and then respond, "yeah, I'm nice." you know they are. But if they dodge it, or say, like one person once did, "I'm a very spiritual person," well, then the odds are, they aren't nice.

I'm still trying to figure out how being spiritual is an answer to the easiest question you could ever be asked.

So D*ew, are you nice?

June 16, 2008 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger estelluxx said...

He's nice to me.

June 16, 2008 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why don't you put advertising on your blog and make a few dollars that way? at least that way you'd get more attention ($) for being disagreeable.


June 17, 2008 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

that's easy, pirate.
i don't like advertising.

pat, that's a worthwhile question in my mind only when a position is a customer service type position. (clearly, i'm not)

June 18, 2008 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Leezer said...

You are way too smart for those fucking questions. Smart in the way it matters - world smart as well as IQ smart. I decided long ago never to find out my IQ - and I never have - because I don't believe in IQ tests.

You need to be a writer or a documentary film producer. But I imagine you'll look back on these lame experiences and figure they've led you to where you are meant to be.

P.S. I would have said I'm not nice.

June 18, 2008 at 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are annoying. if you want a bullshit job you better learn how to bullshit your way through an interview without seeming like an asshole. no one cares how smart you are if you act like a dickhead.


June 18, 2008 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Lord of the Barnyard said...

thanks leezer.

pirate - bullshit answers for bullshit jobs, yes. that's why you chose to pay-to-play. i don't see any career i want enough to spend the time and money to get the degree to pursue.
i don't know that i have the drive to make my intelligence work for me. so i'm gonna sit here and decry the fact that bs job offerings don't ask questions that reveal my superior intelligence. /snark

June 18, 2008 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger laughjon said...

Open a Wawa.

June 20, 2008 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger estelluxx said...

wawa is lame.

June 20, 2008 at 1:06 PM  

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