Re: Interview Questions (deliberately veering from techie vsnon-t echie...) -Reply

Subject: Re: Interview Questions (deliberately veering from techie vsnon-t echie...) -Reply
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 14:31:32 -0500

> The questions I have liked best are: 1. You are in a sailboat over the
> deepest part of the Pacific Ocean. You drop a 10 lb. cannon ball over
> the side. How long will it take to hit bottom? and 2. Using a dummy
> had grenade, ask the interviewee to sell you the grenade.
> #1 tests reasoning and logic skills and the general background
> information necessary to make rational assumptions and provide answers
> in the face of inadequate data.
> #2 tests the ability to think on one's feet, extemporaneous speaking and
> sales skills.

> John Gilger
I first thought that these questions were ridiculous. However, if the
purpose for these questions are to test the interviewee's deductive
reasoning, it may shed some light on the way that the candidate would
approach collecting and discerning technical information. By the way, was
getting the correct answer for the cannon ball important? The grenade one
is cute, but I would save it for a Marketing candidate rather than a writer.

In some cases, I'd prefer these abstract logic questions to the, "What are
your hobbies, likes, and dislikes?" questions. Why? Because, IMO, these
questions could lead into some conflicts between the interviewer and
candidate. Suppose that the candidate and the interviewer were very
involved with churches that had opposite and preached-against doctrines?
Or, the candidate states that he/she can't stand golf while not noticing the
putting pad in the office? How about a candidate that likes to shoot guns
at the range everyday talking to an interviewer who actively campaigns for
"Rid our streets of Guns" politicians? Anyway, I'd hate to lose out on a
job because the interviewer doesn't like my out-of-work interests.

Back to the cannon ball. Is the answer that the cannon ball will never hit
bottom? If so, is it because the pressure becomes so great that the cannon
ball implodes and its residual particles either dissolve or float back
toward the surface? If I'm right, do I get the job?


Michael Wing (mailto:mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com)
Principal Technical Writer
Intergraph Corporation; Huntsville, Alabama

"Humpty was pushed!"

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