yconic - lol @ Phone Interviews
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lol @ Phone Interviews

A photo of DiddlySquat DiddlySquat
I had one of these several weeks ago (prior to the actual face-to-face interview) for a job at one of the Big 5 banks (which I got).

What a complete waste of my time.

Most of the questions dealt with behavioral traits (show a situation in which you displayed leadership, how do you deal with conflict in the workplace, and other such nonsense.) I literally lied and made up elaborate stories for each and every single one of these softball questions, on the spot. I suspect that others do the same, as it would be difficult for the simpletons in HR to verify the validity of the answers.

So what exactly is gained from these 20 minute interviews? The position I interviewed for was very technical in nature. If you want to hire me for such a position, ask me how to model credit risk using a logistic regression model, or how to approximate joint default probability in C++, and do not waste my time with excruciating and mind-numbing "behavioral" questions.

Needless to say, the face to face interview was more enjoyable.

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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Perhaps they want to know how well you can think on the spot. Not sure why that would be important to a very technical job though...

Even better than asking you how to model credit risk using a logistic regression model would be getting you to do just that. It's probably not so important that you be able to explain how to do that; just that you be able to do it.

But, yeah, you're right HR people are generally not the sharpest tools in the shed. They just ask the most common questions and probably don't have the creativity and intelligence to create their own valid ones - ones that are specific to the job an applicant is interviewing for.
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A photo of littleroom littleroom
Is it possible that they are assuming that only people capable of such technical tasks are applying anway, and therefore are looking to sort out the agreeable employers from the disagreeable ones? This sounds far-fetched as I'm typing out, but that's the best I can come up with (and that they're just stupid).

Do you mind sharing your elaborate stories? I have a feeling they're funny.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote
But, yeah, you're right HR people are generally not the sharpest tools in the shed. They just ask the most common questions and probably don't have the creativity and intelligence to create their own valid ones - ones that are specific to the job an applicant is interviewing for.


For me, I'd often take a general question and modify it slightly, or continue the same line of questioning into more and more specific attributes and accomplishments.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo

@littleroom wrote
Is it possible that they are assuming that only people capable of such technical tasks are applying anway, and therefore are looking to sort out the agreeable employers from the disagreeable ones?



Not necessarily. It would be just as safe to assume that only agreeable people are applying for a position in which agreeable-ness matters. For more complicated jobs, not all applicants will be able to fulfill all job duties well. It's worthwhile to find out which of the applicants is best able and most able to fulfill those duties.


@ARMY101 wrote
For me, I'd often take a general question and modify it slightly, or continue the same line of questioning into more and more specific attributes and accomplishments.



Which is fair, because I'd imagine you're just hiring cooks/cashiers. You just want people who are at least fairly coherent, friendly, and not retarded.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@mynameismattgotmlgo wrote

@ARMY101 wrote
For me, I'd often take a general question and modify it slightly, or continue the same line of questioning into more and more specific attributes and accomplishments.



Which is fair, because I'd imagine you're just hiring cooks/cashiers. You just want people who are at least fairly coherent, friendly, and not retarded.


To be fair, I was hiring top-notch people, and very few people passed the standards I set.
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