Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Corporate knobbism on an industrial scale

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer

Tiger-Monkey2

War Hero
They are not fiendish at all they are crap and provide nothing but an opportunity to make a candidate uncomfortable when most likely they are already nervous. The answer to most of the questions is I have no idea and really do not care. For those which do not require anything more than a pat subjective answer the only response is I can find out.

I have interviewed a lot of people and would be ashamed to ask such stupid and useless questions.
 

Mr Blobby

Swinger
I had 2 interviews with British Rail back in the day. One was via the London Bridge recruitment centre route - involved a lot of stupid fluffy bollocks only HR could dream up. The other was an interview I was allowed to go for an "internal" job because I'd got off my arrse enough to track down the manager of a division in York who were advertising internally for an entry level job in signals. That was a hard interview and was 100% sensible as it was conducted by 2 engineers with not a whiff of HR anywhere. Didn't get the job - but I felt I'd had a fair interview and given a good innings.

Now - the article in hand - it's a mixed bunch. I don't think they are all stupid.

1. “How would you describe an atom to a child?” – Asked at Gartner, an information technology company.

Relevant as they want to see if you can adapt your communication to suit audiences of differing tech knowhow. As much as I think Gartner are a lovely bunch of people, it seems relevant.

4. “You play a game of russian roulette with another person, is it better to go first or second?” – Asked at Codemasters, a video game company.

Perfectly good probability question to see if you are able to analyse logically.

12. “How many ping pong balls fit in a 747?” – Asked at Goldman Sachs bank.

A very "Google Interview" question - typically used to see if you have the ability to estimate and partly to see how you get there. The "right" answer is not so important as having a good stab and being able to defend your answer.

15. "What makes you angry?” – Asked at Newton Europe, an engineering company.

This is the sort of complete knobbery I despise...

[Edited because it's not the NAAFI]
 
Last edited:

Yokel

LE
15. "What makes you angry?” – Asked at Newton Europe, an engineering company.

This is the sort of complete knobbery I despise...



Answer: bad management.

Next question: do you know the number of the taxi company?
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
Given some kind of context then some of the questions are rational. A record company asking about the Beatles and Rolling Stones? Perfectly rational. If I had no idea then I shouldnt be asking for the job. My reply would be. "I dont care, I'm into opera and want to look at Katherine Jenkins tits"

If I was asked any question about ping pong balls and I could get the image of a Bankok stage show out of my mind, I would start the response with something along the lines of "Well, I would have to look up the dimensions of a jumbo jet, and how big a ping pong ball is. I will have an estimate within an hour" I suspect that if I made any smart arse comment about African or European swallows then I would be binned.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Amateur questions. I once got royally screwed at a job interview. The interviewer asked me:

"You are in charge of a company making paint products. What strategies would you use to increase sales"?

So I answered that with lots of good suggestions. Then my interviewer asked.

"You have just been head hunted by a rival. How do you win back the ground you have lost to your original company"?

That's a bastard of a question because the better the answer to the first question, the bigger the hole you have to dig yourself out of when the second one hits.

Wordsmith
 

JoeCivvie

ADC
RIP
I've had candidates who were asked:

"How many pairs of high-heel shoes are there in Hong Kong?"

"How many pairs of disposable chopsticks are used each day in Hong Kong?"

Both asked by a Macquarie guy.

Someone else was being interviewed by Goldmans and the interviewer slid a glass ashtray over the table to the candidate (this was in the 80's) and said 'broke this to me'.

I can actually see some point to these. The first two were put to equity analysts - I imagine he wanted to get an idea of their thought process, how would the break down the figures.

The third was to an equity salesman (a 'broker'), so he wanted to see if he could sell.

This seems apt:
interview.jpeg
 
“You play a game of russian roulette with another person, is it better to go first or second?”

"Second, as I pass the Browning 9mm to my opponent..."
 
“Is jaffa cake a cake or biscuit?”
"It's VAT exempt so it must be a cake."

“How would you sell a fridge to an Eskimo?”
"I'd refer to him as an Innuit for a start."

“If you were given a million pounds, what kind of business would you start?”
"If I were given a million pounds, what makes you think I'd waste it on a business?"

“If I write down all of the numbers from 1 to 1,000,000 on a page, how many times do I write down the digit 2?”
"Crack on. I'll have the answer before you finish."

"How many cranes are in London?”
"London Zoo has one male Brolga crane, no females."

“What would you buy to personalise your desk?”
"That depends on whether I can put it on expenses."

“How many golf balls would fit in this cubicle?”
"With the toilet seat up or down?"
 
Last edited:
It is a shame that this is the Int Cell, because I would probably pose some questions with regard to what foreign objects might be inserted into ones Oriental eye, instead I will relate a question that I was once asked " So if Sleeping Beauty was destined to prick her finger on her 16th birthday, why was Malifecent so keen to learn of her whereabouts prior to this". I would sooner have fielded something about socks and willies.
 
Last time was subjected to psychometric testing, the bird doing the test said "you aren't taking this seriously, are you?"

I said, well to be honest I've been doing this job for 30 years and NOW you want to test me?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I had 2 interviews with British Rail back in the day. One was via the London Bridge recruitment centre route - involved a lot of stupid fluffy bollocks only HR could dream up. The other was an interview I was allowed to go for an "internal" job because I'd got off my arrse enough to track down the manager of a division in York who were advertising internally for an entry level job in signals. That was a hard interview and was 100% sensible as it was conducted by 2 engineers with not a whiff of HR anywhere. Didn't get the job - but I felt I'd had a fair interview and given a good innings.

[Edited because it's not the NAAFI]

My BR interview was with the Engineer and the supervisor under him, no HR and it seemed to consist of challenging questions such as can you get to work on time!
25 years later I'm still early for every turn!
 
At an interview for a job with a large London museum, in front of a board of about 10 people (it was the final of three interviews and a 'project'; they were just making sure) I was asked a very stupid question of this sort just at the point when I thought it was winding down to the 'any questions?' bit. The creature who asked it was a weaselly beast, and I went through the process of wondering whether I should give a facetious answer, an honest one or the answer they were possibly looking for (but which would mean you were probably lying). In the end I came up with something in the 'bluff' category, which probably lost me the job. Bastard.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
I put in for a nice cushy number near Heathrow, would have been a pig to get to but work was pretty easy and would have looked good on my CV. They sent me an email confirming the interview with a long spiel about psychometric testing. I expect because they had dealt with thickos before. Wrong so very wrong, I didnt even understand the email and when I sat the test made an utter pigs ear of the whole thing. FFS its not like I was about to walk around the office screaming abuse at women and efnicks.
Needless to say if I get interview confirmations like that now I just turn down the interview!
 

Latest Threads

Top