What Do Waffles, Luna Bars and Diet Coke Have in Common?

Why Traditional Interviewing Questions Don’t Give You the Full Picture

I’ve done hundreds of job interviews over the years. In my opinion, that is hundreds too many. I don’t like interviewing – at least not traditional interviewing. What I found is that you can learn more about someone by asking them what they had for breakfast than by asking them where they see themselves in 5 years. I am such a fan of non-sucky interviews that I wrote a whole blog post about it called You Have 30 Seconds to Sell Me This Pen [CLICK HERE]. A couple of weeks have gone by, so I thought it would be fun to share a few tidbits from recent interviews.

My goal is to get people OUT of interview mode, and get to actually know the person and not the “I-am-in-an-interview” part of the person. Sometimes though, I learn more than I need to know. Sometimes I even learn things I don’t want to know.

You don’t need a waffle iron to make waffles

In response to my tried and true “What did you have for breakfast?’ question a candidate told me that she had waffles and strawberries. I asked her how she made them. She told me that she added water to the mix. Seems legit right? Not everyone is Rachel Ray. I asked her if she had a waffle iron – and she said no. She seemed offended when I pointed out that it sounds like she had a pancake and not a waffle. Why lie? I have no idea, but we did not hire her.

Amazon Prime will deliver Diet Coke to your door — in bulk

So while waffles are pancakes (I am not in agreement here), Diet Coke and Luna Bars seem to be a legit breakfast as well. I then pointed out the convenience option – you can pick these up AND eat them on the go. I am not sure it gets any more convenient (or lazy) than ordering these items in bulk, from Amazon Pantry, to be delivered – in less than 2 hours. I guess this 2-hour window eliminates any serious withdrawal symptoms?

Some people work for free, for YEARS!

Whaaat? So confusing. But apparently not only do “employers” get away with it, but “employees” do it. One candidate shared they were “thinking” about leaving their job as they had not been paid in 3 months and another described their two years of work history at non-paid “internships.” One company that was brought up had 40 total employees – 36 of them were unpaid interns. I even asked one candidate, “What are the elements of a job offer you weigh to consider taking it?” They replied, “paycheck.” I always thought this was a given. Maybe I am doing it all wrong? I actually have a payroll. Or maybe I am doing it all right, as I get a paycheck for my job – a pretty decent one at that. Conundrum.

Tinder is a perfectly acceptable basis for an interview conversation.

One job seeker volunteered that she met her boyfriend on Tinder. To be clear, I have nothing against Tinder. Or relationships. Or “boyfriends.” I just think the specifics should be on a “need to know basis.” And I didn’t need to know that level of detail. “We met online,” would have been good enough. Actually, I am not sure why she was even telling me about her boyfriend……

There ARE ways to triple your Instagram followers in one day

From 12 to 36. I had no other follow up questions. If this is one of your top accomplishments in life, I don’t need to know anything else.

Some people take job descriptions very seriously

We like our job descriptions to be entertaining and reflective of our culture and work environment. In a recent posting for a Sales and Marking Administrative Assistant, one of the requirements was “take lots of pictures at company events that may or may not be used for future blackmail purposes.” I learned from a candidate that blackmail is not only unethical but illegal and “concerning.” I laughed (I honestly could not help it) and promptly told her that it was a joke. She was quick to let me know there was no mention of jokes in the job description. The End.

Leave a Reply