Help Unwanted

But Enough of Your Qualifications;
What’d You Do If the Sky Were Red?

For millions of Americans, Friday is not so good anymore: what used to be a time for excitement, the beginning of the weekend, TGIF and all that, now has a dreadful feeling. Another week is over, and it’s almost sure no one will call you back with a job offer today.
In fact, one of the travesties of unemployment is that it inverts things: suddenly, Mondays actually don’t seem so bleak. Neither Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and even Thursdays, although that’s already pushing it. At this point, frankly, who needs any more time off?
You can’t afford even a lousy Latte, and the prospect of spending any extra time with the now unrestrained frustration of your mate can’t be good for your cholesterol. All you can think about weekends these days is that the better rest of the nation is out, deservedly enjoying the mild winter, while you’re inside, feeling miserable.
So in solidarity, we’ll tell everyone a little of what you and the millions of jobless in this country have been facing out there. It’s about a bizarre world ruled by sadistic interviewers who strive at tossing one outlandish question after another at you, just to throw you off and keep a pile of resumes they’ve received to a manageable size.
There are many categories in the guise of a method for this madness. There’s the hypothetical specialist: “Sell me an invisible pen.” (P&G) The sophisticated mathematician: “Twenty-five racehorses, no stopwatch, five tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.” (Facebook)
The deranged sport-buff: “What is your strategy at table tennis?” (Citigroup). The teasingly insane: “Would you be okay hearing “no” from seven out of 10 customers.” (Enterprise). And the certified psycho: “If I was a genie and could give you your dream job, what and where would it be?” (Pottery Barn)
These are actual questions, asked in job interviews and reported to, an online job community that encourages people to anonymously share an inside look at companies. Which, honestly, sounds like another exercise in pure mental abnormality, but anyway.
By now, at least 15.5 million of that desolate crowd have heard at least three times over that this kind of question is designed to gauge the candidate’s ability to “think on his feet.” Or to show his “thought process.” Or it may be just because the recruiter is, indeed, deranged.
In fact, another reason for anyone to wish they had already lost their minds is the amount of career advisers and job Continue reading