Employment Interview Questions

Subject: Employment Interview Questions
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 22:59:52 +0800

"What should I say if they ask this question?"

I've seen this asked on techwr several times. It disturbs and depresses
me how often it gets the same answer: "Lie!".

I paraphrase, of course, but that's what it amounts to. Here's a
boilerplate answer that, while not true, will hide your dark secret
from the interviewer long enough to fool them into giving you the job.

If I'm interviewing you I won't be shocked to find you exaggerate,
obfuscate or evade my questions. I expect you to put your case well.
It's my job to judge how well you fit the bill, based on what you
say and what your past record is.

I hope we'll find that you're very well suited to work for us and
we're very well suited to you as an employer. If either of these turns
out *not* to be the case, then I hope for both our sakes that we find
it out at the interview before it's too late.

If I think you're lying to me about one thing, why should I trust what
you tell me about anything? You're already half-way out the door.

I'm afraid this won't be much help to the person who posed the
question. You've discovered that several people wouldn't give you the
job unless you lie to them, and I won't give you the job if you do
lie to me.

And now I'll stop, because I'm starting to sound smarmy and priggish
even to myself.

Stuart 'disturbed and depressed' Burnfield
Functional Software Pty Ltd
mailto:slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au

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