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Would you rather be the flower, or the pot?


That’s a question someone asked me during an job interview.

Fortunately, he was giving an example of the type of ridiculous questions interviewers are encouraged to ask job applicants. And we all laughed and got on with the interview, that was 100% free of Rorschach ink blotty questions. At the time I didn’t know how lucky I was.

Because as some of you may be aware, not only are interviewers encouraged to ask such questions, they actually do it. And not only do they ask these questions, the correct answer is not to look at one’s time-tracking device in a meaningful way, lean across the desk and say “My time is valuable. Please get on with the real interview.”

So far as I can tell from talking to other adults (or people pretending to be same), this isn’t some passing fad. In fact, it could be getting worse. Stupid? Obviously. I assume it is caused by the fact that more interviews are conducted by people who don’t understand why the applicant is there. And so:

“You’re applying for what? Do we even do that here? I haven’t the slightest … Uh. OK. If you were a flower, would you be a daisy or an orchid, and why?”

Then, while the job applicant is trying to sound professional while he’s wondering what the hell flowers have to do with metallurgy and wishing he could clobber the interviewer with a chair, the interviewer can sit back jot down notes about things he does understand, such as what he thinks of the applicant’s posture and and speaking voice.

I imagine there’s also a second, but not mutually exclusive group of people who get their jollies by increasing the stress of job interviews with dimwitted questions.

Hopefully these people are simply dopey Cerberuses. If they have a significant impact on who gets hired, the economy might fall apart before President Trump can destroy it.

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