Social Question

chyna's avatar

Is this a normal interview question?

Asked by chyna (45070points) January 19th, 2012

If you weren’t the Chyna you are today, who is the Chyna you would be? Is this supposed to be some psychological question that is supposed to mean something depending on your answer?

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23 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Yeah for getting an interview!

Charles's avatar

It might be normal for an incense salesperson or a palm reader but most technical, medical, or business interview questions don’t sound like that.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

They’re asking wacked questions in a lot of interviews today. They want to see how well you cope with something unexpected and how you think on your feet.

Earthgirl's avatar

I think it’s geared to catch you offguard and make you admit to your shortcomings. Who doesn’t have regrets and insecurities? This is a tricky way to see if someone wishes they were someone better, more accomplished, yada yada….

I hate this kind of shit!
I had a neighbor that I used to babysit for. He worked for Crucible Steel. He was up for a big management job and he had to fly in to an unfamiliar city for the interview. They told him they would meet him at the airport with a car. They didn’t. He had to make his way to the interview and cope with the stress of it all. It was a test! They purposely tested him to see how he would handle it. I think that kind of thing is an unethical kind of mind game.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Earthgirl That’s corporate america today. It sucks.

chyna's avatar

I hate all the game playing. Just ask my qualifications, don’t try to psychoanalyze me, because a few questions will never tell you what I’m really like, no matter what the “specialists” say.

Earthgirl's avatar

Adirondackwannabe It’s not just today, sadly. This was years and years ago and the story always stayed with me as being so maddening. BTW, he got the job.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Q “If you weren’t the Chyna you are today, who is the Chyna you would be?”

A “I’d be the Chyna that writes your paycheck… punk ass motherfucker!”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Earthgirl I got to work for a nice company out of college. We busted our ass and loved it. It’s now gotten big and working conditions suck.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I have a theory that anyone who has been continuously working since 2008 has been existing in constant bitter, resentful, fear of losing their jobs. They take it out on any applicants.

gailcalled's avatar

One proven technique for dealing with confrontational questions, such as the one you cited, is to say, “That’s a really interesting question. I’m going to have to think about it and get back to you. It caught me off-guard.”

marinelife's avatar

It is interviewing in the 21st century. Sorry, you caught one like that. How did the interview go?

linguaphile's avatar

I’d rather that question over an interviewer, in his late 60’s at least, who looked at my chest and said, “I like you.”

augustlan's avatar

Ugh. I hate those kind of interview questions! Hope it went well, though.

chyna's avatar

@augustlan I didn’t really get a reading on how well it went, so I guess it’s a waiting game.

augustlan's avatar

Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Earthgirl's avatar

Upon further thought I remembered that the way I read to answer such questions was to try to phrase a positive trait as a negative. For example, if someone asks you what your weakness is you say, “well, when I have a goal I just become so singleminded about achieving it that I tend to lose perspective. I need to learn to step away from the task from time to time to recharge and keep my balance.” This makes it sound as if you are so very passionate and hard working that you find it hard to rein yourself in. The problem with this approach is that when I say things like that I make myself want to puke! It sounds so fake and so not me. I like to be direct and honest. But if they want to make it a game I guess I have no choice but to play along, right?

Taking this approach to the “what person you would be if you weren’t the person you are?”
I had an inspiration that it would be funny to get all philosophical on them and say, “Well now, that supposes that I would have a crystal ball and I don’t. Does any of us know where we would be if we took the other diverging road in the wood? Life is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. We make the best choices we can given what we know at the time we need to make the decision. It would be disingenuous of me to second guess myself.” But then, I am assuming you want the job, lol.

That’s just the problem. It’s hard to think of an interview as a game when what’s at stake is your ability to support yourself and your family. The people who use these questions to thin the wheat from the chaff don’t seem to get the idea that a person can be very good at what they do and just not be good at mind games. Maybe the best thing you can do is try to think of things that you would say ahead of time if these kind of questions come up. Having a sort of repertoire of stupid “tell them what they want to hear” answers that you can pull out of a hat if need be.

If you are interviewing a lot I highly recommend the book What Color is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles

http://www.amazon.com/What-Color-Your-Parachute-2012/dp/1607740109
.Get the most up to date copy that you can since he is constantly revising it based on his research into current job hunting conditions and what is going on in the marketplace and employer expectations. He has a real positive attitude that isn’t about strategy. It’s about helping you find a job with the right fit and giving practical, up to the minute advice on how to go about looking for it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@linguaphile I gave you a GA, for having the guts to say what pigs men are. That’s disgusting. I’m sorry you had to put up with that. My apologies for all the other idiots cursed with the Y chromosome.

6rant6's avatar

Interviewers ask questions for all kinds of reasons – to put you at ease, to stress you, to catch you in contradictions, to see if you’re willing to “go with the flow,” and just because the question was asked of them a minute before they came into an interview.

It’s the kind of question people ask here all the time. Seems like he was throwing a curve ball to a curve ball hitter.

linguaphile's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yeah, that was icky… but not all men are like that, for sure. That one was definitely a big pig in a nasty organization. I now work in a department with 9 men and 2 women and only 1 would qualify as a piglet. :) That’s a pretty good stat for my dept. I’m glad there are men out there like you! :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@linguaphile That is a pretty good stat. I’ve worked in some places where the guys were pretty bad.

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