June 29, 2010

job interview – common questions

I’ve been to 2 more interviews as of last week, a total of 3 interviews. I am beginning to see a trend here, on the things they tend to ask during an interview…

1) “Tell me about yourself.” / “How would you describe yourself”.
I’ve been asked this in all my interviews. Like duh. I think this is more like a ‘feel good’ question because obviously, the interviewers already knew more or less about me through my resume etc. They’re asking me this to gauge how confident I am about myself and how much of an asshole I am.

2) “Why do you leave your current job?”
It is as if they do not believe what I’ve written in my resume/application form. I mean, if I were to have a real grouse with my existing company/job, what makes them think that I’d be honest about it with them? Like “Oh I decided to leave because my boss is an asshole and there are not enough pretty girls in my workplace…”. This is a question – without doubt – to gauge my skills at bullshitting. I aced it.

3) “If I have something big for you, are you up for it?”
It’s always about something big, ain’t it? And they never tell you what ‘thing’ it is. If I do not know what big thing they’re talking about, how would I know I’m up for it? If you answer ‘yes’, you’re fucked (because you must be desperate and lying). If you answer ‘no’, you’re also fucked (because you’re a lazy sloth for saying ‘no’ before even trying). This is a question with no possible answer unless you’re able to accurately predict the future. It is asked to gauge the interviewee’s cognitive skills. I answered “depends”.

4) “What is your strength?”
Another ‘feel good’ question. It is not to be taken literally. Reason is, it does not matter if you think you’re strong in some areas, because ‘strength’ has no limits, and is very subjective. You may think you’re strong in your own perspective but you’ll always be weak in some assholes’ eyes. This question is asked to gauge how delusional you are about yourself, which could subsequently be translated to a question whether the interviewer needs another massive douche bag in his/her organization. I answered ‘my versatility’. It means, “I’m your whore if you want me to.” I think it’s a great answer.

5) “What is your greatest achievement?”
Like (1), I’ve been asked this in all my interviews. I think this is the only question that is to be taken literally. This is like a bonus for them, if there’s anything extra good that comes with your employment. Just like how your mom would ask a vegetable seller if that catty of spinach comes with a free piece of ginger, or your dad asking a prostitute if the fuck job comes with a free backrub. If you’ve not been shirking too much at work, you should have something to say. I have.


I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

michaelooi  | experiences  | 

9 Comments to “job interview – common questions”

  1. vincent says:

    I think the first question is more of a test to see if you came prepared with a well-rehearsed intro. EVERY interviewer asks this. There is no reason for anyone not to prepare a 30 second intro selling your product (yourself).

    Think of it as bonus question in the exam – free marks.

  2. michaelooi says:

    You rehearse your intro dude? I hope not, because that will be so gay. I never rehearse my intro. I just go natural. Go with the flow.
    I think it’ll be stupid if one is well rehearsed on the intro, only to become Lady Gagap when they ask about something else. It’s gonna ruin the whole thing man. If you Gagap, should Gagap all the way.

  3. Shar says:

    You’ll be surprise that most semi fresh grads can’t answer those questions. Especially those top scorers with their 3.7CGPA and and above. Especially those from our local unis. If i have a dollar for every time they cock up I will not have to work now.

    *semi fresh grads are those that has been to at least a few interviews, attended those shitty ‘how to write your resume and interview improvement skills’ workshop organized by their uni and to some extent has worked a wee bit with some companies.

  4. michaelooi says:

    I thought semi fresh grads are those farts who have studied all their miserable lives, yet to get a job and are considered too old to be called ‘fresh grads’?

  5. Arkane says:

    I think answer to q4 contradicts with the answer to q3. If you were versatile enough, you would do your darndest to accomplish the “something big”, INCLUDING whoring yourself.

  6. michaelooi says:

    Nope, you got it wrong. You’ve mistaken ‘versatile’ for ‘desperate’.

    A ‘versatile’ person adapts and adjusts himself to align with the given challenges. He does not blindly commit to just any shit. A versatile person is smart and cunning, and calculates his risks.

    A ‘desperate’ person jumps blindly at chances, tends to over-commit and usually not a very adept person at his job (if he’s good, he wouldn’t have to be desperate to begin with)

  7. Shar says:

    Err, I call those old fresh grads. Anyway, I am always wary of those people who’s resume looks too good: Good on paper, bad face to face. Kinda like that Panda phenomena you had.

  8. vincent says:

    Well, I haven’t been for an interview in 4 years, so………..

    No but seriously man, just the intro. I think of it like a salesman trying to pitch a product. You have 30 seconds to set the tone of the interview, that 30 seconds is damn important as a first impression I think.

    Of course don’t memorize your sales pitch word for word la. But you should have an idea of what you want them to know about yourself (that is relevant to that particular job) and then just say it naturally.

  9. Rojakgal says:

    I have been to XX interviews and I have probably interviewed XXX people in my career.

    Except for Question #3, I would say that these are my favourite questions as an interviewer.

    “Tell me about yourself.”
    I ask because I most probably did not read your boring resume plus the 10+ pages of attached certificate from your kindergarten, Uni, and the Math quiz that u took in Form 5. Could Malaysian pls be more creative with their resume? My life already sucks with having to go thru agreementsss with stupid jargons and why must I suffer to read your resume when you r the one asking me for jobs?

    2) “Why do you leave your current job?”
    I need to know if you are mentally well or if you have a real attitude problem.

    4) “What is your strength?”
    I need to know if you can sell my products/do the job and if you are prepared for this interview.

    5) “What is your greatest achievement?”
    If you do not have anything to say >> I would like to thank u for attending this interview and we shall inform u once we have finalised. [I am so not going to hire you even if you are willing to work without getting paid]
    I need to know how highly you think of yourself or how aggressive you are.

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