World's Tallest Mountain

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Benny Bendington VII in Gravois Mills, Missouri

87 months ago

I was at a job interview at the HCR and they asked me what the tallest mountain in the world was. I had no frickin' idea. I blew the interview. They later told me it was a question designed to detect if I would lie. I don't believe that, I should have studied more geography in school.

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Davie in Madison, Wisconsin

87 months ago

Benny Bendington VII in Gravois Mills, Missouri said: I was at a job interview at the HCR and they asked me what the tallest mountain in the world was. I had no frickin' idea. I blew the interview. They later told me it was a question designed to detect if I would lie. I don't believe that, I should have studied more geography in school.

Concider yourself lucky. I have always given our senior citizens the benefit of the doubt, but my experience as an employee had revealed that old people are thieving scoundrels, taking anything that isn't nailed down. I often had to deliver my own version of justice (when other staff members were not looking) in order to rectify the problems of theft in the facility. This place would probably be bearable if it wasn't for the residents.

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nancy in Cincinnati, Ohio

86 months ago

Benny Bendington VII in Gravois Mills, Missouri said: I was at a job interview at the HCR and they asked me what the tallest mountain in the world was. I had no frickin' idea. I blew the interview. They later told me it was a question designed to detect if I would lie. I don't believe that, I should have studied more geography in school.

I often feel like I am applying for the Nobel Peace Prize when interviewing for a new job. It is nearly impossible to get the job these days - no matter how qualified you are.

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Anonymous in Sanford, Florida

86 months ago

nancy in Cincinnati, Ohio said: I often feel like I am applying for the Nobel Peace Prize when interviewing for a new job.

We all understand your meaning but just so you don't make such an ignorant statement in public again, the Nobel Prizes are not something for which one applies. In fact, the people nominated are not even aware they have been nominated and the information is sealed for fifty years after the prizes are awarded.

The world's tallest mountain (base to the tip) is Mauna Kea in Hawaii yet Mount Everest is the tallest peak above sea level. The question is more likely to be as said, to see how you see yourself. Probably nobody applying for a regular job (not as a geographer) would know that. I looked it up on Google just for grins.

If you told them you were positive it was Kilimanjaro the job would not be given to you because you would be considered too dumb. Not too dumb because of the lack of knowledge of geography but because the normally intelligent person would answer, " I have no idea. I would have to look it up." That is what you would be expected to do in many job situations - don't do something if you are not sure. You must not ever be too proud to look for the correct information.

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Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida

86 months ago

Guide

If they are relying on a "What is tallest mountain" question to determine if you are lying, that's just ridiculous.

"I don't know, so I'd have to look that up" is certainly a reasonable answer.

However, it is not a reasonable question.

Several years ago, one of Career Services students interviewing for an IT Job was asked "How many gas stations are there in Los Angeles?" This person was not allowed to research or suggest looking anything up. So, he guessed. Hard not to!

The "interviewer" said this question was designed to test someone's ability to reason.
Of course, with no facts or information to research for something like this, reasoning isn't a part of the process!

I often ask students what qualifications there are for someone to be an interviewer. And the sad answer is that there are none. The oddest and most ridiculous questions come from people who don't know what they are doing and shouldn't be interviewing anyone.

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Charlie in Augusta, Georgia

86 months ago

Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida said: "How many gas stations are there in Los Angeles?"
The "interviewer" said this question was designed to test someone's ability to reason.
Of course, with no facts or information to research for something like this, reasoning isn't a part of the process!

I disagree. I think such a question can tell a lot about a person's ability to reason. It would make a huge difference whether the person said:

"Probably no one can say for sure. I doubt the tax records are that accurate and up to date in a city that size."

versus:

"I think there must be at least 50 of them."

Both answers are literally correct but which one of the two do you think really has excellent reasoning ability and a firm grasp on reality?

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GH in Michigan

86 months ago

I work for this company and trust me, they're not that sophisticated or smart enough to test someone's ability to reason or see if they're lying. Whoever asked that tallest mountain question probably threw it out as a joke, or because they couldn't think of anything else to ask.

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Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida

86 months ago

Guide

I liken the question to "What kind of animal do you think you are like?" Most people asking this are curious, nothing more.

IMHO, I believe such questions are dubious to begin with. Considering that most interviewers have no training to speak of, I think any question that seems like a "trick question" is no more than that. Just a way to either trap or trick people rather than find out more about them.

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Charlie in Fort Pierce, Florida

86 months ago

Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida said: IMHO, I believe such questions are dubious to begin with. ... I think any question that seems like a "trick question" is no more than that. ....

Quite possible, of course. I have, however, observed that interviewers tend to have their own way of discovering what they want to know. Many will just use the tried and true statement, "Tell me about yourself." but I believe some just would rather use a bit more creativity in order to get around the "rehearsed" responses. You can rehearse an excellent reply to the standard statement and make yourself sound very good indeed, but if an interviewer gets tired of listening to automated responses, he/she can use other methods to get at the truth.

A rather strange example of this is where a police officer had stopped a person on the side of the road for an innocuous offense like a tail light out or something. In the conversation with the driver, the officer joked about, "Should I look in your trunk? You don't have any bodies in there do you?"

Normally an honest person would find this quite funny and may even reply with a similar joke and say, "Oh, only my mother-in-law but no Mexicans" or something like that. In this case, the driver became quite defensive and with a red face asked the officer why he thought there was something to hide! It was the classic case of he doth protest too much. The officer recognized this and had probable cause then to search. The trunk was full of illegal drugs.

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Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida

86 months ago

Guide

Charlie - You make a reasonable point re: "rehearsed" responses. However, what I have seen far too often as a Career Services Professional involves either questions that are illegal or just a great degree of ineptitude on the part of interviewers. Sometimes, it's a combination of both.

I'd prefer that interviewers would ask open ended questions that could be challenging and get "more" information without relying on gimmickry, stupidity or breaking the law.
All 3 are far too common.

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Charlie in Columbia, South Carolina

86 months ago

Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida said: ...However, what I have seen far too often as a Career Services Professional...

I believe we may be looking at it from different sides of the desk. I am not in the HR profession but due to just sheer age, I have been in the applicant's chair many times. My profession is technical. The stereotypical "geek" image applies. In the technical field, you can have someone come to the interview looking for all the world like he has not a clue how to tie his shoes but he may be an absolute whiz on Linux or op-amps or radio frequency circuitry.

In those cases, the weird questions can quickly determine if you just have the proverbial "suffer ticket" or you really know your stuff.

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Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida

86 months ago

Guide

I would concur that different disciplines can mean different styles of questions.

I do recall that the student, who had a couple of years as a Network Admin and was trying to get a better salary (in Tampa Bay, it varies GREATLY downward once you get outside of Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater.) He told me that the interviewer also spent most of the time saying negative things about the company.

That would normally send "red flags" up for me.
Just as I would see the same "red flags" if an interviewer spent significant time bashing the person who had the job before. That's amateur hour stuff - and a look at employer attitude. In past work search experience, I have run into that second issue and have always found it a negative experience.

I tell students in Career Development classes that's a warning sign. If they're bashing who was there before, you are the next one who gets bashed if you are hired!

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Charlie in Kissimmee, Florida

86 months ago

Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida said: ...He told me that the interviewer also spent most of the time saying negative things about the company.

That would normally send "red flags" up for me.
Just as I would see the same "red flags" if an interviewer spent significant time bashing the person who had the job before. That's amateur hour stuff - and a look at employer attitude. In past work search experience, I have run into that second issue and have always found it a negative experience.

I absolutely agree and that is your "trick" question to see if the applicant will join in and start bashing. That is a job to run away from very quickly.

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Charlie in Warrenville, South Carolina

86 months ago

Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida said: Of course, with no facts or information to research for something like this, reasoning isn't a part of the process!

That is because you don't know HOW to reason, Zeke.

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Charlie in Warrenville, South Carolina

86 months ago

Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida said: I liken the question to "What kind of animal do you think you are like?" Most people asking this are curious, nothing more.

IMHO, I believe such questions are dubious to begin with. Considering that most interviewers have no training to speak of, I think any question that seems like a "trick question" is no more than that. Just a way to either trap or trick people rather than find out more about them.

That is because you have never been in an intese interview for a serious job that involves more reasoning ability than being an amateur resume writer, Zeke.

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blackdogreservation in Norfolk, Virginia

86 months ago

Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida said: Charlie - You make a reasonable point re: "rehearsed" responses. However, what I have seen far too often as a Career Services Professional involves either questions that are illegal or just a great degree of ineptitude on the part of interviewers. Sometimes, it's a combination of both.

I'd prefer that interviewers would ask open ended questions that could be challenging and get "more" information without relying on gimmickry, stupidity or breaking the law.
All 3 are far too common.


Hi, I am wondering what questions ARE illegal. Thanks

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Job Search Dolphin in Tampa, Florida

86 months ago

Guide

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