Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Top Ten: Questions Never to Ask in an Interview

I was perusing the "internet" last week when I saw an article linked off of Yahoo's home page called "Ten Questions Never to Ask in an Interview." I was intrigued, so I took a look. You need to look no further than the section of my sidebar entitled "GMYH's Guide to Interviews" to know that I am a bit of a savant when it comes to interviewing tips. Hell, I've fucked up enough interviews (on both sides of the desk) that you would assume I know what works and what doesn't.

All of the taboo questions in the article are unbelievably common sense. Anyone who doesn't know not to ask these questions doesn't deserve to be employed:
1. "What does your company do?"
2. "Are you going to do a background check?"
3. "When will I be eligible for a raise?"
4. "Do you have any other jobs available?"
5. "How soon can I transfer to another position?"
6. "Can you tell me about bus lines to your facility?"
7. "Do you have smoking breaks?"
8. "Is [my medical condition] covered under your insurance?"
9. "Do you do a drug test?"
10. "If you hire me, can I wait until [more than three weeks from now] to start the job?"

With that, here are my suggestions for other commonly asked questions you should never ask in an interview:
10. "What's one thing you don't like about working here?" Interviewing people who are stupid enough to ask a question that will never get an honest response. Oh, I mean I can't really think of anything.
9. "Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" No one in the history of the world has carried a banana in his or her pocket. Stop staring at my crotch.
8. "What's the social atmosphere like?" Chill out, Pete Doherty. Why don't you just ask me whether people shoot up in the bathrooms and fuck in the stairwells? The answers are yes and yes, by the way, but still.
7. "I see you went to [insert name of college]. I had a friend who went there and loved it." That wasn't even a question, asshole. Even if it was, what the hell do you expect me to say? "Oh, well then, would you like a job here?"
6. "What are your hours like?" I'm a lawyer. They suck. By asking me this question, I assume you are (1) an uninformed moron who does not understand the profession you are about to enter and (2) not willing to work all weekend after I give you rush assignments at 5:00 every Friday afternoon.
5. "What do you like most about working here?" I have never heard a response or given a response that doesn't include the phrase "I really like the people."
4. "What's a typical day like for you?" Do you really want to know? I wake up at 6:30, cursing myself for ever going to law school. I arrive at work around 8 and throw up. For the most of the day, I research and write and yell and sometimes dance. Every day at lunch, there is a firm-wide pog tournament. I am known to my co-workers only as "The Hammer." At 6:30 or 7, assuming there are fewer than five partners remaining on my floor, I sprint out of the building wearing a gorilla mask. At 11 or so, I cry myself to sleep, but only after three or four hours of slamming whiskey and pogs alone while watching YouTube videos of singing dachshunds.
2. "Do you see yourself working here in five years?" No one in the history of the world has said "no" to this question in an interview, even though no one in the history of the world could truthfully say "yes."
1. "Why did you go to law school?" Because I'm a moron, and I like debt, and I like working long hours, and I like doing something completely unfulfilling with my life, and I like wearing suits, and I like weeping, and I like interviewing people who have no chance of working here, and . But most of all, I went to law school so I could make a lot of money.

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