the worst job interview question!

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Max82, May 25, 2011.

  1. HomerJ

    HomerJ Senior member

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    This isn't terribly common, but I had someone ask me "Would you rather fail to reject a hypothesis (when you should reject) or reject a hypothesis (when you shouldn't have)?" My immediate reaction to myself was "that's meaningless," because this wasn't an arena where you really have to worry; you just care about the results one way or another. But not knowing what to say, and not wanting to say what I thought of this question, I just shrugged my shoulders and picked one with a shake of my head and, what I'm sure was a look of confusion. I returned home afterwards and asked my former econometrics prof about it and her first response was "that question makes no sense." That was positively my worst interview ever.
    Hmm. That's not a terrible question for my field considering we rely on statistics for nearly every conclusion yet most, myself included, don't have a thorough understanding of it. If my null hypothesis is that this device or treatment we're developing is safe, I'd rather reject it (when I shouldn't have) than cause harm by failing to reject (when I should have).
     


  2. asdf

    asdf Senior member

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    Hmm. That's not a terrible question for my field considering we rely on statistics for nearly every conclusion yet most, myself included, don't have a thorough understanding of it.

    If my null hypothesis is that this device or treatment we're developing is safe, I'd rather reject it (when I shouldn't have) than cause harm by failing to reject (when I should have).


    This.
     


  3. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    "Are you a homosexual?"
     


  4. Pennglock

    Pennglock Senior member

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    "Are you a homosexual?"

    Is that legal!!

    I once had a guy ask me where I got my briefcase, which I thought was a little homo..
     


  5. tesuquegolfer

    tesuquegolfer Senior member

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    "Are you a homosexual?"

    As Bill Murray said in the movie Stripes when asked the same question, "Do you mean Flamming? No... but we are willing to learn." [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  6. suited

    suited Senior member

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    You are suppose to say something like "my biggest weakness is i try too hard" or your are too pasionate about your work or some shit along those lines.
    and then their response should be: lying appears to be your biggest weakness. It's also presumptuous to assume that the person asking you this question is some sort of super computer that's able to input your answer and immediately and definitely tell if it's the "right" one. More than likely, it's just some jerk off.
     


  7. Carlisle Blues

    Carlisle Blues Senior member

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    Worst question I was asked by the prospective boss..... Q. "Where do you want to be in 5 years?" A. Sitting in your chair... I did not get the job....[​IMG]
     


  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    For my current job I was actually asked this series of questions in my interview:

    There are three doors in front of you, behind one door is a prize, what is the probability that you will choose the door with the prize behind it?

    Then, if before you made your decision one of the doors you were not going to choose was opened revealing that there was no prize behind that door in order to increase the probability of selecting the door with the prize behind it would you stick with your original selection, or would you decide to change your mind and select the other unopened door, or does it not matter and why?

    Think about it.
     


  9. mellow

    mellow Well-Known Member

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    This isn't terribly common, but I had someone ask me "Would you rather fail to reject a hypothesis (when you should reject) or reject a hypothesis (when you shouldn't have)?"

    Statistics and related fields aside, this sounds like a teamwork/management/leadership question to me. I've been in situations where I've worked as part of a team and watched one of my co-workers try out a poor idea just because I know they needed to see it pan out. My guess is they're trying to figure out if you have a preference for passivity or authority. Neither of those should be interpreted as inherently good or bad, it depends on what the company needs.
     


  10. XeF4

    XeF4 Senior member

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    and then their response should be: lying appears to be your biggest weakness. It's also presumptuous to assume that the person asking you this question is some sort of super computer that's able to input your answer and immediately and definitely tell if it's the "right" one. More than likely, it's just some jerk off.
    But I really do work to hard. I also care too much. Watch me care right now. Did you see it? The question is lame and so is the answer. I think I work too hard was maybe an over simplified example of what I was trying to convey. You should turn one of your weaknesses into one of your strengths (eg. "I spend alot of time making sure the code I write is structured and easy to read/edit" instead of, "I sometimes miss my deadlines")
     


  11. KPO89

    KPO89 Senior member

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    I would say for a managerial job the right answer to the question of "What is your greatest weakness?" would be impatience. This says "I'm not afraid to step on toes to get something done NOW." Which is often a good quality in a manager.

    I've never tried it though so I can't really comment on whether it really is the right answer.
     


  12. Texasmade

    Texasmade Senior member

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    For my current job I was actually asked this series of questions in my interview:

    There are three doors in front of you, behind one door is a prize, what is the probability that you will choose the door with the prize behind it?

    Then, if before you made your decision one of the doors you were not going to choose was opened revealing that there was no prize behind that door in order to increase the probability of selecting the door with the prize behind it would you stick with your original selection, or would you decide to change your mind and select the other unopened door, or does it not matter and why?

    Think about it.


    Wasn't this in that movie about those MIT students counting cards at Blackjack?
     


  13. Pennglock

    Pennglock Senior member

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    For my current job I was actually asked this series of questions in my interview:

    There are three doors in front of you, behind one door is a prize, what is the probability that you will choose the door with the prize behind it?

    Then, if before you made your decision one of the doors you were not going to choose was opened revealing that there was no prize behind that door in order to increase the probability of selecting the door with the prize behind it would you stick with your original selection, or would you decide to change your mind and select the other unopened door, or does it not matter and why?

    Think about it.


    Bayes' Theorem. Change Doors
     


  14. jslade

    jslade Senior member

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    The only correct answer to the weakness question is Kryptonite. Say it with a straight face and then "next stupid question".
    [​IMG]
     


  15. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

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    I was once asked if I've ever worked somewhere where female coworkers commonly cry. Maybe that wasn't the worst question, but it was definitely the strangest... especially considering the interview was at a local government economic development office. Generally, I think the strength/weakness questions and where do you see yourself in X years questions are the worst. It just seems like the interviewer put no thought in coming up with questions that were particularly relevant for the job being interviewed for (unless said job is as a carnival strongman or a palm reader or something).
     


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