Recruiting Lens

A close-up look at recruiting...



Smart-arsed interview questions were never, ever, big and clever

By MARTIN ELLIS Published 28th Sep 2013
Article Image

I sometimes wonder if it's me....?

I've heard about all these really clever questions to ask at a job interview that will really sort the wheat from the chaff, but they whizz past me - and I can't help it, but I have to say to myself "WHAT PLANET DO THESE PEOPLE INHABIT ?!?!"

You know the sort of questions I mean:

  • How do you fit a giraffe in a fridge ?
  • Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses ?
  • How many ways can you get a needle out of a haystack ?

Or even....

  • What colour are you today ?

Don't get it. Lost on me. What is going through the mind of anybody facile enough to think these questions have any reason?

What makes it worse is the BBC actually found a bunch of nutters who to admit they saw them as a good idea - and were happy to be quoted: Click here if you want your brain put through a blender

I have to admit, I came close to chucking it all in and spending the rest of my life sat down in a corner with a damp towel over my head.

But today the sun appeared and sanity prevailed. Google (somehow I'm not surprised it was Google) have admitted they used these sort of questions for years and they are, and I quote, "Useless".

So for all of you who have been wondering if you've been interviewing right, you can be re-assured you probably were. That's more likely if you just ask damn good open questions and probe the answers you don't understand or believe.

Life is only as complicated as we wish to make it. The idiots who peddle this rot to make themselves more important and justify their existence have just received a firm poke in the eye.



(Image courtesy of

Unique Views: 1873 | Total Page Views: 2044
259 weeks ago, by James
Candidates being asked to dance to Daft Punk at interviews was in the news recently:

He was told that he would have 5 minutes to talk about his hobbies and went armed with photographs to demonstrate his love of astronomy. Wouldn't that sort of enthusiasm be far more useful for a store like Currys to have on the team?

I think the candidate was better than the interviewers on this one.
259 weeks ago, by Martin
Hi James. I noticed that:

I agree with you. These stories say so much more about the interviewers than they realise. Not sure how they can lack the self awareness to walk away from this stuff when it first pops up in their thinking.
259 weeks ago, by James
It's probably down to a lack of training in interview skills. To me it smacks of someone posting on Facebook; 'OMG I've got to do an interview tomorrow, can anyone tells me what I should do?'

Badly thought out activities, whether it's recruitment, training or team building, can look plausible enough on paper and people often thing that everyone does them but they're excruciating in the delivery.

I wonder how often the best candidate is missed because of poor interviewing. 'Yeah, best of a bad lot I'm afraid'.
Please Login or Sign Up to comment.
comments powered by Disqus

Latest Activity

Show More Reveal

Recent Rants & Raves

Recruiters letting off steam...

Show MoreReveal

Submit an Article

Please Login or Sign Up to submit an article. We will be accepting articles from non-members in due course.