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  • FIRST POST
    • MoneySavingUser
    • By MoneySavingUser 12th Mar 12, 9:35 AM
    • 1,600Posts
    • 642Thanks
    MoneySavingUser
    Dinosaur interview
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 12, 9:35 AM
    Dinosaur interview 12th Mar 12 at 9:35 AM
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2113627/Dinosaur-interview-make-careers-extinct-Prospective-employers-using-extreme-techniques-select-best-staff.html

    So you’re fully prepped for the interview, wearing a new suit and your CV is beyond reproach.

    But to win that dream job you must work out what sort of dinosaur you are.
    Prospective employers are increasingly using ‘extreme interviewing’ techniques which include questions such as: ‘If you were a dinosaur, what would you be?’
    I haven't been asked that but have been asked what animal I would be recently

    I guess the 'normal' interview is dead now with most companies totally obsessed with competency questions and assigning 'marks' to each answer and now these types of questions becoming more popular too

    Genuine questions asked of potential employees include:
    • 'If you were a biscuit, what sort would you be?'
    • 'Name five uses for a stapler, without the staples.'
    • 'Name me three Lady Gaga songs.'
    • 'With a four-minute hourglass and a seven-minute hourglass, how can you measure exactly nine minutes - without taking longer than nine minutes?'
    • 'On a scale of one to ten, how weird are you?'
    • 'Which TV character is most like you?'
    • 'Are you exhaling warm air?'
    • 'Does life fascinate you?'
    • 'Room, desk or car - which do you clean first?'
    • 'What do you think of garden gnomes?'
Page 1
  • heretolearn
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 12, 9:52 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 12, 9:52 AM
    Name me three Lady Gaga songs.' - that's got to be age discrimination!

    The rest sound like something off Bliiiiiindaaaa daaaaataaaaa
    Cash not ash from January 2nd 2011: £2565.

    OU student: A103 , A215 , A316 all done. Currently A230 all leading to an English Literature degree.

    Any advice given is as an individual, not as a representative of my firm.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 12th Mar 12, 10:15 AM
    • 16,720 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 12, 10:15 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 12, 10:15 AM
    Aww, i've never had fun questions in job interviews. I did once get asked 'If someone offered you a job doing the same with twice the salary, would you take it?'

    I think i answered that i'd be stupid if I didn't..

    I think they only use these questions when there's a large amount of candidates and they need stupid reasons to weed the numbers down
    • InsideInsurance
    • By InsideInsurance 12th Mar 12, 11:08 AM
    • 22,222 Posts
    • 11,386 Thanks
    InsideInsurance
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:08 AM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:08 AM
    Have known some silly things being done in interviews but never personally had them that bad.

    Closest came when having a second round interview with who my "customer" would be and they said whilst they knew of PMs they'd never had any work for them and so what is the split between what the PM and the Sponsor do in terms of responsibilities, long term actions and day to day stuff.

    At the end he asked if he could have 4 of them
  • Sambucus Nigra
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:13 AM
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:13 AM
    • 'If you were a biscuit, what sort would you be?' 'Are they paying you to be here?'
    • 'Name five uses for a stapler, without the staples.' 'I could - however that would be one minute of my life I'll never get back'
    • 'Name me three Lady Gaga songs.' 'Did someone give you 'dull interview questions' book for your 40th?'
    • 'With a four-minute hourglass and a seven-minute hourglass, how can you measure exactly nine minutes - without taking longer than nine minutes?' "You do know I'm more qualified than you, don't you?'
    • 'On a scale of one to ten, how weird are you?' 'Why, how weird do you want me to be?'
    • 'Which TV character is most like you?' 'I really don't watch TV, I have what's known as a 'life' - you can get one yourself if you try real hard'
    • 'Are you exhaling warm air?' 'I was until I walked into your interview room'
    • 'Does life fascinate you?' 'Not right now, now'
    • 'Room, desk or car - which do you clean first?' "Hang on, I'll text my cleaner and ask her'
    • 'What do you think of garden gnomes?' 'Oh, your secret's out'
  • cosmoseater
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:20 AM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:20 AM
    If I got asked any of those I would walk out and never return.
  • Stephen Leak
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:26 AM
    • #7
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:26 AM
    Do these people think that being out of work, having no money, etc. is funny?

    I wouldn't regret putting the interviewer's lights out if they conducted an interview like this. I clearly wouldn't like working for a firm like this. After all, look at their recruitment policy.
  • Sambucus Nigra
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:30 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:30 AM
    If I got asked any of those I would walk out and never return.
    Originally posted by cosmoseater
    I think I would have to ask whether they were actually qualified in psychology in order to make any meaningful decisions based upon the answers given, or was it really the case that they were actually not taking the recruitment process as seriously as I was and perhaps I should be being interviewed for the HR dept in order to upgrade their professionalism rather than the post I was being interviewed for.
    • scooby088
    • By scooby088 12th Mar 12, 11:52 AM
    • 3,244 Posts
    • 3,568 Thanks
    scooby088
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:52 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Mar 12, 11:52 AM
    I would like to think interviews don't go down thie route, but if i ever encountered such an interview i would immediately get up and walk out interview over.
    • bap98189
    • By bap98189 12th Mar 12, 12:00 PM
    • 2,347 Posts
    • 3,743 Thanks
    bap98189
    It's not as crazy as it sounds. The idea is to see how quickly the candidate can think on their feet. There is no right or wrong answer, but being able to come up with a coherent answer and discuss it with no preparation whatsoever is in itself a skill.

    Let's face it many interviews are nowadays a test of how well a candidate can reel off one of their 100 pre-prepared answers, rather than a test of their actual ability. This is something different at least.
  • Alizarin
    I'd love to answer some of these in an interview, much more interesting than 'give an example of a project you've done that was successful blah blah snore'

    'Which TV character is most like you?' Reckon I'd have to say Dexter Doubt I'd be given the job though ...
    Saving for a deposit - Target £30k by 24/03/14 (30th Birthday!)
    Current Savings - £18,153.11 / 60.51%
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 12th Mar 12, 1:09 PM
    • 12,956 Posts
    • 11,031 Thanks
    paddyrg
    I think the original idea behind these questions is to see how you handle the oddities life sometimes throws up (and not just answering stock interview questions with stock answers). For instance 'how would you weigh a jumbo jet?', or 'how many cars are on the road right now?' are designed to see how you *approach* the question (ie do you ask for clarification, question the motive of the questioner, panic, guess, etc). This is because people tend to act consistently, so if they panic/obstruct in an interview, they will likely do the same in their job.

    However, they seem to have been adopted by people who don't understand that, and think that kooky questions are just the done thing. Three Lady Gaga hits is just dumb - it tells you nothing about the interviewee except their knowledge of pop culture.
    • MoneySavingUser
    • By MoneySavingUser 12th Mar 12, 2:34 PM
    • 1,600 Posts
    • 642 Thanks
    MoneySavingUser
    Thanks for your responses - and also interesting how many people have said they wouldn't want to work for a company who asked these/would walk out - unfortunately the number of companies who do ask these types seems to be increasing
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 12th Mar 12, 3:40 PM
    • 16,720 Posts
    • 27,094 Thanks
    ringo_24601
    "With a four-minute hourglass and a seven-minute hourglass, how can you measure exactly nine minutes - without taking longer than nine minutes?'
    Simples.
    Start both hour glasses. When the 4 min finishes, there will be 3 mins left on the other one. Turn them both over and wait till the big one finishes (7 mins gone so far). There will be 1 min left on the small one.
    Turn them both over and wait till the small one finishes (8 mins gone total). Now, finally, turn over the big one and wait until it is finished. 9 minutes will have passed.

    Now... it's not so stupid a question if you want to hire an engineer or software developer. It shows you can practically manipulate concepts in your head.

    The rest of the questions do look like they're trying to dig for a personality and find out what kind of person they're talking to.

    Personally, i'd want to be Barney, because my little boy likes him
    • wapow
    • By wapow 12th Mar 12, 3:42 PM
    • 859 Posts
    • 475 Thanks
    wapow
    Thanks for your responses - and also interesting how many people have said they wouldn't want to work for a company who asked these/would walk out - unfortunately the number of companies who do ask these types seems to be increasing
    Originally posted by MoneySavingUser
    1. Room, desk and car – which do you clean first
    2. What do you think of garden gnomes?
    3. Name five uses of a stapler without staples.
    4. How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?
    5. How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30pm on a Friday?
    6. If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?
    7. How would you cure world hunger?
    8. How many different ways can you get water from a lake at the foot of a mountain, up to the top of the mountain?
    9. If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?
    10. Pepsi or Coke?

    I can assure you these people saying they would walk out - would not walk out at all. Its all talk.

    These questions used to crop up in very high level interviews. Senior Management type interviews.

    Only recently are they now being asked at basic level interviews. The idea behind an odd ball question is to see how you handle something totally out of your comfort zone. There is no right or wrong answer, although it will not look good at all if you cannot fathom any response at all.

    The idea is to tailor the answers towards the individual you are and the role you are applying for. If you can!
    Last edited by wapow; 12-03-2012 at 4:20 PM.
    • wapow
    • By wapow 12th Mar 12, 3:45 PM
    • 859 Posts
    • 475 Thanks
    wapow
    Simples.
    Start both hour glasses. When the 4 min finishes, there will be 3 mins left on the other one. Turn them both over and wait till the big one finishes (7 mins gone so far). There will be 1 min left on the small one.
    Turn them both over and wait till the small one finishes (8 mins gone total). Now, finally, turn over the big one and wait until it is finished. 9 minutes will have passed.

    Now... it's not so stupid a question if you want to hire an engineer or software developer. It shows you can practically manipulate concepts in your head.
    How will there be a minute left on the small one? Because once 3 mins are left, it means 4 have passed. So if you turn them both over then your turning two * 4 mins again? Your turning them together too many times. It doesnt work mate.

    -------
    I think what you mean is, when the 4 min finishes, turn THAT one over again, let the 7 min continue. When the 7 min finishes, you will have 1 min left on the small one.

    Then turn the big one over as soon as it finishes, the 1 min on small one makes it 8 mins, then turn the big one back over and thats 9 minutes and all hourglass are complete!



    Yea they asked this at a Google interview i think.
    Its similar thinking to the riddle in DIE HARD 3.
    Last edited by wapow; 12-03-2012 at 4:19 PM.
  • Sambucus Nigra
    Simples.
    Start both hour glasses. When the 4 min finishes, there will be 3 mins left on the other one. Turn them both over and wait till the big one finishes (7 mins gone so far). There will be 1 min left on the small one.
    Turn them both over and wait till the small one finishes (8 mins gone total). Now, finally, turn over the big one and wait until it is finished. 9 minutes will have passed.

    Now... it's not so stupid a question if you want to hire an engineer or software developer. It shows you can practically manipulate concepts in your head.

    The rest of the questions do look like they're trying to dig for a personality and find out what kind of person they're talking to.

    Personally, i'd want to be Barney, because my little boy likes him
    Originally posted by ringo_24601
    Even simpler - wait until the person testing you says 'that's it, 9 minutes has passed, you have no more time to experiment' - and that's the time that 9 minutes has gone.
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 12th Mar 12, 5:45 PM
    • 12,956 Posts
    • 11,031 Thanks
    paddyrg
    Even simpler - wait until the person testing you says 'that's it, 9 minutes has passed, you have no more time to experiment' - and that's the time that 9 minutes has gone.
    Originally posted by Sambucus Nigra
    Depending on what role I was interviewing for, you'd either get the job on the spot, or be booted out for being a smart alec ;-)
  • paulwf
    I've actually used similar questions to some of the ones listed when interviewing candidates, mixed with conventional questions of course.

    I'm interviewing people for retail positions and qualifications aren't all that important - really bad applications will be screened out before interview of course - and it is all about personality. In sales people need to be friendly, confident and generally chatty. These questions are far better to separate candidates than standard ones where everyone has rehearsed the answers or just reels off whats on their CV.

    I try and make interviews fun, there has to be a balance and the candidate absolutely shouldn't be made fun of but a bit of light heartedness stops everyone from falling asleep!
    • Print Screen
    • By Print Screen 12th Mar 12, 8:00 PM
    • 329 Posts
    • 195 Thanks
    Print Screen
    If the interviewer asked me "If you were and animal what animal would you be?"
    I would answer
    "Dung beetle so I can deal with this crap your feeding me."

    Don't think I would get the job though
    If freedom is outlawed, only outlaws will have freedom.
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