My son landed a job the other day and not because of the title! Many months of frustration finally ended when he successfully made it through the interview process. He went to a training session last week and has his first shift next Monday. Well done, mate!
So the timing of this article about being interviewed for a job in Wall Street was almost perfect. While neither I, nor my son have any intention of ever working in the finance industry let alone at Wall street, I’m always on the lookout for tips on not appearing like an incompetent fool in a job interview. I need all the help I can get! And it’s a good time to pass on some good advice to the young guy while we’re at it.
There are some jaw-dropping interview questions in there. Here are some of the highlights:
- “Why don’t you have any offers yet? What’s wrong with you?”
- “What single word would you use to describe yourself so I don’t walk out of here and forget you?” (Good answer: Unforgettable!)
- “What line on your resume is the most bull****?”
- “What’s your outlook for cucumber prices over the course of 2012?”
- “If I told you that the only way you were going to get this job is if you let me sleep with your girlfriend, would you accept?”
As it states in the article, these question are designed to see if you can stay focussed and not get rattled by sharp and offensive questions. For example, an acceptable answer to the last question was given as roughly, “No, but I have a beautiful sister I can hook you up with!”
I strongly echoed to the young man the statement about “I don’t know” being the kiss-of-death answer to any question really, because it seems to be a favourite phrase of his. (Is that a typical teenager thing or what?) So I asked him. “What’s your outlook for cucumber prices over the course of 2012?”. “I don’t know”. Hmm. Told you. In any social environment he might be entitled to say that because who the hell follows cucumber prices if they’re not a green grocer? Or a veggie purchaser for Macca’s?
I said to him, if you don’t know the answer, and they know you don’t the know the answer, tell them how you would go about finding the answer. That’s what they’re interested in, mate. Tell them you would go and research the cucumber industry, find out how cucumbers are grown, what they depend on. Lots of rain? Only a little? Warm or cold climate? Who buys them? Will they keep buying them? Is the industry in turmoil at the moment? Is it likely to be soon? Talk to some cucumber growers. Find out how they’re going. Obviously your interviewer doesn’t want your answer right here and then. He wants to know how you would find out.
One last bit of advice, Son. If they offer you the job provided they can sleep with your girlfriend, say what you like but DO NOT offer them your sister!