Even seasoned execs can get sweaty palms and a dry mouth throughout job interviews, and when an interviewer throws out an oddball query, some candidates panic.
But wait. Brain teaser questions like “Calculate the angle of two clock pointers when time is 11:50” may very well say extra concerning the interviewer than the interviewee.
People who assume curveball questions are helpful and acceptable in job interviews are likely to have extra “dark traits,” including sadism and narcissism, they usually are typically callous and lack empathy, a study revealed this week within the journal Applied Psychology discovered.
“They tend to lack the perspective of the applicant and do not appreciate the potentially abusive nature of these questions,” mentioned Scott Highhouse, a psychology professor at Bowling Green State University and a co-author of the examine.
These questions can really feel disorienting and even unfair to job candidates, and in today’s job market, there’s an added stress. Answering these questions accurately might be the ticket to a brand new job and a hefty pay increase, one thing multiple American staff have been missing out on over the past a number of years as wages have remained flat.
That’s in all probability why profession information web sites feature tips on how one can reply these mind-bending questions.
But that stress could be misplaced. There’s no proof that the solutions candidates really give to these kind of questions relate to efficiency on the job, Highhouse famous. And if a job seeker encounters considered one of these questions, that could be an indication to look elsewhere. “If the person who you’re working directly for is the one asking these questions, I would wonder if this is someone you want to work for,” Highhouse mentioned.
Highhouse bought enthusiastic about finding out mind teaser interview questions after he examine Laszlo Bock, a former senior vice president for folks operations at Google
, dismissing brain teasers as a “complete waste of time” in recruiting. “They don’t predict anything,” Bock mentioned. “They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.”
In the examine, Highhouse and co-researchers offered 736 folks with lists of job interview questions. The lists included conventional ones — “Can you work under pressure and deal with deadlines?” and “Tell us why you want to work for us” — in addition to mind teasers. Researchers requested the examine members to say how seemingly they had been to ask the questions throughout an interview, and whether or not they thought they had been acceptable to ask.
People who wished to make use of the mind teaser questions had been extra prone to have revealed “dark traits” like sadism and narcissism throughout earlier questioning by researchers. The researchers discovered the mind teasers posted on profession web sites, including Glassdoor. (Glassdoor’s terms of service state that it makes no ensures concerning the accuracy of such info.)
• On a scale from one to 10, fee me as an interviewer. (Kraft Heinz Co.
• What songs greatest describe your work ethic? (Dell
• Why are manhole covers round? (Microsoft
• How would you establish the load of a industrial airplane with no scale? (McKinsey & Co.)
• What do you concentrate on if you end up alone in your automobile? (Gallup)
• If you could be any animal on a carousel, what would you choose and why? (Journeys/Genesco
Still, there is usually a methodology behind such weird questions. Hiring managers say quirky questions can gauge whether an applicant is a cultural match for the group, or reveal one thing about their humorousness, perspective, or creativity.
Representatives for Kraft, Dell, McKinsey and Gallup didn’t reply instantly to requests for remark. A spokeswoman for Journeys, a Nashville-based shoe retailer, mentioned the corporate’s information for hiring managers doesn’t embrace mind teasers and that they’re not a part of the hiring course of. “Journeys focuses on behavioral based interviewing to determine whether candidates have relevant job skills and experience,” mentioned spokeswoman Claire S. McCall.
A spokeswoman for Microsoft wouldn’t remark particularly on mind teasers, however pointed to a blog post during which a Microsoft government described the corporate’s interview course of. “The intent is not to trip candidates up or find what’s wrong, but rather find what’s right and determine if we can succeed together,” wrote Executive Vice President of Human Resources Kathleen Hogan.
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