[thelist] Help a journalist (again): best/worst interview questions?

sam foster potatosculptor at gmail.com
Thu Oct 5 23:27:03 CDT 2006

I have no doubt I have been someone's nightmare interviewer. I've
never been a hiring manager, I'm have usually been in the role of
"peer" or perhaps senior team member who gets some input and the
occassional veto. I'm also charged with assessing the veracity of
claims of skills and experience. When interviewing front-end
developers (my field), the resume doesnt usually tell you much beyond
some basic facts and acronyms. Discerning aptitude and attitude is
tricky, but I've found a simple test to speak volumes - not just in
what they got right and wrong, but how the approached it- did they
take it seriously, did they take offense at being made to jump through
hoops, did they apply their experience to the task or just rush
through it
One tip: beware the long interview: human nature means that if you
have no intention of hiring someone, the tendency is to linger and
work off some guilt through friendly conversation!

My worst interview question (given and received): "why should we hire
you?" .. or maybe, "why do you want to work here?" (er.. because I
need the money?)

My best: "can you fix this?" .. Personally, I'd rather be put on the
spot and given a (relevant) challenge - it puts me in my comfort zone
and lets me demonstrate problem solving, skills, experience, etc. in


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