Thursday, June 09, 2005

No Blogging - Job Interview

I have a job interview this morning, so I'll be brushing up on my interviewing skills (like bathing, using mouthwash and deodorant, shaving, etc.) instead of sitting here in my pajama bottoms pouring over political news. Phil Blair, CEO of Manpower Inc., has written a handbook titled Strategies for Success, which he gives away for free. It has lots of good advice about putting together a resume and interviewing tips. One of the tips is to develop short stories as answers to some common interview questions.

That reminds me of an interview I had years ago. The hiring manager had passed me off to one of the middle managers for a more technical one-on-one evaluation of my skills. Before the interview began, the middle manager asked me if I was going to give him canned interview answers, to which I responded, "Only to canned interview questions". I didn't get that job, but I don't necessarily attribute that to a rather awkward interview with the middle manager as he was only one of four persons I spoke to at that company during the interview process.

Anyway, one of the questions this book directs one to expect is "Have you had any problems with previous employers?" Fortunately, I've developed a wonderful little story with which to respond.
Q.: Have you had any problems with previous employers?

A.: Well, before quitting without notice, I had a terrible problem with my boss. In addition to being a full flaming Nazi... Oh, he said he was Austrian, but that's just what you'd expect a Nazi to say after we kicked their asses. Anyway, in addition to being a Nazi, the man stood all of 5'5" off the ground and had the worst case of short man's disease I've ever encountered. He would fly off the handle at reasonable responses to his directives, like "Keep your pants on, Napolean, I'm getting to it". I just couldn't take his unreasonable and violent nature any longer, so I left them high-n-dry.

Yup, I think that's a winner! Wish me luck.


Blogger Mike said...

In my previous role as a manager I had to do job interviews. One time I asked a guy to tell me about a time he had a conflict with someone in the workplace and how he dealt with it. This guy had a nose ring and tatoos on his neck so that tells you the kind of character I was dealing with. He told me about this guy he managed who kept showing up late for work. So one day he got fed up and told the guy to go home and change his clothes after showing up late for the 20th time. The guy went home and changed and came back. Then he told the guy he was going to make him do that every time he was late for work. I asked the guy, "So you basically humiliate people to motivate them?" He gave me some line about how he tried everything else. I asked him if it worked and he said, "Yeah, but the guy quit a week or two later."

Needless to say, he didn't get the job.

10:19 AM  
Blogger AlanK said...


good luck with interview, will be interested to hear how it goes + answer sounds interesting as well

11:10 AM  

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