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What do you make of this article?

  1. Jul 27, 2013 #1

    The article discusses some lies that are told in job interviews and a recruiters take on them. Now, I do not condone lieing but this compelled me to question the situation where the only option is to lie.

    For example, when an interviewer asks the question: "What your favorite subject/dream job?" Seems innocent enough, but think again. Unless your EXACT career interests are near perfectly aligned with the nature of the position, the question is a trap - a silly trap. The vast majority of job seekers are looking for something that is tolerable that can also pay the bills. In an analogous sense, a particular job may be but a stepping stone in ones career path. This is certainly the case with many new graduates. So when you are presented this question, what is a candidates supposed to do? If you tell the truth (assuming the candidates career interest are not perfectly aligned with the position), it counts against the candidate, essentially disqualifying them based on a personal preference regardless of their technical credentials. Case and point, if your dream job was to run a circus would would ever tell an employer that? No, you'd be laughed at unless you were applying for a temp position a Wal-Mart.

    Another silly question: "What is your greatest weakness?" Of course the answer to the question can lead to great insight into a candidates character, I do not deny this utility, but to what point does the answer become trivial. I will use an example from myself: If I were asked this question, I would probably answer:
    "Due to my low tolerance for "peoples garbage", I sometimes come off as short and that makes me somewhat "not user friendly".
    The honest answer: "I grew up in a chaotic household and consequentially I have severe difficulties following routines and carrying out menial tasks. I also have bipolar disorder, which makes literally every aspect of my life a challenge when my medication is not properly adjusted."
    Im sure there a many candidates whose honest answer to this question is deeply personal and inappropriate for an interview. What the point of the question if you have to water down the answer?

    And the most frustrating of them all "How interested are you in this position" If you say anything less that "extremely interested", you have already made a bad impression. Being realistic, there is probably a very narrow set of jobs that would satisfy the "extremely interested" criteria for any given candidate. The uselessness of this question is obvious here. Every interview I have been on has asked me this absolutely stupid question. If you are a recruiter/interviewer, please tell me why.

    Overall I just wanted to present one of my reactions to the article. Again, I do not condone lying, but my feelings are that some questions, for the average candidate, there is no choice but to lie in this job market. I'm especially interested in some of the interviewer's and recent grads opinion on this subject matter. Discuss!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2013 #2


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    Aero51 discusses this:

    The same problem can still happen at such like that Wal-Mart interview.

    This kind of question was a problem at at least one of my job interviews. Now, I've been thinking for several weeks about this dream job/ideal job question. One could prepare oneself, if allowing oneself to be open-minded enough to ask, "what more could I do in this company if I stay long enough?". If you express this thought at your interview, you are not necessarily telling or implying a falsehood. You are in fact, searching for useful options in the company. To do this properly, you need to understand your current skills, and the skills you might want to gain. Still the employer might have a way of pushing the question further, or harder. You just need to decide if you are at a time to give-up on your dream job.

    Another thought is to decide whether to disagree with the very question, because it has no practical relevance. To do this, you better know exactly why you disagree; otherwise, you may be seen as disagreeable.

    The question one must ask himself is, 'am I flexible enough not to be interested in a dream/ideal job', or 'has my ideal/dream job lost its importance'?
  4. Jul 27, 2013 #3
    The right answer to a "dream job" question is that one doesn't fall in to a dream job, one makes a dream job.

    Put the onus on them. If they have a good work ethic, an honest work-place, and reasonable pay for performance, you want to be a part of this.

    If there is back stabbing, unreasonable office politics, whacky accounting, or preferential treatment for ridiculous reasons, you won't trouble them with a productive attitude.
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