No One Seems to Like Dumb Interview Questions

Even recruiters and managers think exotic and irrelevant interview questions are dumb.


It's no surprise that recruiters like to debate the value of various interview questions. Over at Fistful of Talent, you'll find a nice range of links to opinions on stupid questions. (Stupid, as in: If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be?)

I particularly enjoy the thoughts of blogger Adam Barr, who ridicules interview tricks:

I mean, consider the following imagined exchanges between interviewers and candidates:

I1: Joe and Tom have $21 total. Joe has $20 more than Tom. How much does Tom have?

C1: 50 cents.

I1: No, it's 60 cents. This takes place in a country where there are 120 cents in a dollar. You should have asked me to clarify that.

I haven't been hit with too many strange queries, but what I find remarkable is how much interview methods vary from company to company. Some are pretty much lunch and a handshake. Others require the stamina of a prizefighter—they last several rounds, while questions are fired from a changing panel of managers, each seemingly trying to best the others.

Execupundit blogger Michael Wade has a great take on interviews. He points out the three questions all hiring managers are really trying to answer for themselves: Can I trust this person? Will this person embarrass me? Will this person fit in?

(And here is Wade's take on a common timeline/checklist for hiring. It will make you feel better about the jobs you didn't get.)