[thechat] Application Forms (Was: predictive indexing - is it evil ?)

Madhu Menon webguru at vsnl.net
Tue Sep 3 13:05:00 CDT 2002

At 10:14 PM 03-09-02, Chris Marsh wrote:
>What is the company getting at with a question like this? This is not a
>mere rant, if anyone can help me out a little here I would appreciate
>it. Is this just a dumb set of questions, or is there a hidden
>psychological test beneath it?

Short answer: dumb set of questions. Some HR monkey has to do filtering,
and they think that asking questions like these gets them useful data.
Remember that HR's job is to filter people out, not filter people in. :(

>2) Describe a situation involving each of these skills. In each
>description tell us what happened, what YOU did, and how the situation

This is so trivial to fake. I can make up an entirely fictitious account of
an unsatisfied customer, and how I resolved his problem. Who's to say it
didn't happen?

I posted a long rant about this to another mailing list (technical writers
of India) recently. That post was about how to handle interview questions,
but I remember writing about why these questions are asked. Let me try and
dig up some of what I wrote...

Ah, here it is:


I'll let you in on an open secret. You're asked these questions usually by
clueless HR monkeys who like to think they're experts at judging people.
The HR minion usually knows very little about the specific function you're
interviewing for, and hence has to prove his or her value by asking
supposedly "intelligent" questions. Unfortunately, managers who were once
asked these same questions before by HR people start thinking that they are
in fact useful. So they too ask these questions.

It's a vicious cycle.


Somewhat related: "Stupid interview questions" on my blog at



<<<   *   >>>
Madhu Menon
Internet User Experience Consultant

Content * Interfaces * Usability * Net Strategy

More information about the thechat mailing list