Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Couch Session

Our company is doing something it hasn’t done in months: Hiring somebody.

After a bunch of layoffs, one of the admins gave her notice and bailed along with three others who walked out with pink slips in their hands.

NOTE: Our company’s pink slips are actually plain, white paper which I thought took the mystique out of the entire process. Our company is lame.

One of my few friends here (a tiny group I refer to as ‘The Elite’) is being asked to interview the prospects. She wanted my advice on what to ask.

Here is what I’ve come up with and reasons why I think they are important questions.


Reasoning: This is all about the answer. If they answer with Oak or Pine they should be immediately crossed off the list. Oaks, you see, drop this stringy, crappy shit during the spring only to turn around in autumn and try to pelt you to death with acorns. Pines are sappy, sticky, annoying messes that clog up your gutters and destroy your lawn.

Bottom Line: If you hire an Oak or Pine you are hiring an annoying, selfish, trouble maker that will gunk up the inner workings of the office. You only have yourself to blame.


Reasoning: What a person watches says a lot about them. For example, if they watch ‘House’ they are probably intelligent people with a deeply cynical sense of humor. Or hot for 13 and Cameron. If they watch ‘The Hills’ they probably enjoy laughing at retarded people or are retarded themselves. If they watch ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ they probably cut themselves on a regular basis.

Bottom Line: Never hire someone that says ‘Oh, I read’. They’re lying and trying to impress you. Can’t trust a liar. Or someone that doesn’t watch television. Or someone that’s simply trying to impress you by lying about not watching television.


Reasoning: This answer doesn’t really matter. If they like alternative, metal, top 40, jazz, classical, or country western. What you want is for someone to commit to one or several types without hesitation.

Bottom Line: Do not hire anyone who replies with one of the following:

1: ‘I like all kinds of music’. They’re lying or know nothing about music. By ‘all kinds’ they probably mean they like U2 AND Coldplay.

2: ‘I don’t listen to much music’. This means they are soulless, unfeeling, psychopathic machines. Unless you’re hiring a lawyer or broker, stay away.


Reasoning: To learn what you can hold over their heads when you need them to work for free or to perform duties outside the job description. For example, if they answer ‘My family’, you can then take his or her mother hostage and get the newbie to do your bidding. If this happens to be a hottie newbie, then score for you!

Bottom Line: Beware of people who claim a pet is the most important thing in their lives. They obviously can’t form healthy relationships with any other human and will create a toxic work environment when they start smuggling their ‘bundle of joy’ into their cubicle only to have it piss and shit all over the office.


Reasoning: To gather insight into both the interviewee’s decision making process and how likely he or she would provide some much needed action in the inter office dynamics.

Bottom Line: Answers and their (possible) meanings.

None: You’ve accidentally invited an 10 year old to the office. Call parents before Amber Alert is issued.

1-5: Two options here. First is they had a long term, monogamous high school relationship, they split during college only to get back together and wind up married. Second is person was probably loser who managed to gather some pity screws courtesy of alcohol only to marry upon realizing it was the best they were ever going to do.

6-10: Not prude by any means, but has solid weeding out process. Chances are they are well adjusted with an ability to decline unwanted advances in a tactful way.

11-25: Had a GREAT time in college with some potential blackouts that make the full number blurry. The upper number in this range means they are more than capable of pleasing other people, too.

26-50: Getting into sketchy territory here, now. If the person is in the 30-40 range, it could make sense. If the person is 22, then you might want to question their maturity, potential binge drinking problem, any parent issues and if they are posted in a four minute video clip on the internet somewhere.

51 and above: Potential drug habit or emotional instability. Suggest a fist bump rather than full hand shake goodbye.


Reasoning: Two pronged attack here. If the prospect is male you want to make sure he has a grasp on what it means to be a man. If female you will need a gauge on just HOW crazy she is.

Bottom Line: Answers vary depending on sex


‘When my *insert close relative here* died last year’ Acceptable

‘Watching Big Papi hit this season.’ Semi-acceptable for Red Sox fans only.

‘Last week when I got nailed in the balls by a backswing.’ Semi-acceptable. Eye watering is allowed, but actual crying is for pussies. You may want to clarify if there was full fledged sobbing or simply the involuntary effect of intense pain.

‘Watching Oprah yesterday.’ Unacceptable and should be slapped.

‘Watching my wife walk down the aisle during our wedding.’ Unacceptable.


‘Walking down the aisle at our wedding.’ Acceptable.

‘Watching Oprah yesterday.’ Acceptable.

‘When I got a birthday card from my friend.’ Acceptable.

‘Just before this interview started.’ Semi-acceptable.

‘I have a good cry every day at 3.’ Unacceptable.

‘….’ bursts into tears. Unacceptable.

As you can see females get much more leeway.

So, I know you’re asking, what would the perfect employee be if they answered these questions without storming out or filing a lawsuit? Glad you asked.

It would be someone who watches shows like ‘The Office’, has had 6-25 sexual partners (depending on age), is passionate about music of any kind, would be a palm or elm tree, and has something important enough in their lives that you can use it for leverage against them in times of crisis but wouldn't cry about it.

Happy hunting!

Today’s distraction: 50 ‘Great’ Interview Questions. Should ‘Tell me about yourself’ really be number 1? I would hope any company I work for would ask me more original questions than that. Or pay me a lot of money. Either – or.


Clayton Bigsby said...

You probably would not hire me. Going through I said the answers to myself as Evergreen(pine)because they flourish year round, Rescue Me and sitcoms, Anything but country and techno, Family and friends, i lost count, and I laugh so hard I cry weekly.

BeachBum said...

'Rescue Me' is an acceptable answer. As long as the sitcoms don't include 'According to Jim' I would allow that, as well.

thepowerof10 said...

I definitely wouldn't get hired either. Which is funny because I've never interviewed for a job and not gotten it. I watch questionable television shows, I've had too many sexual partners, and I honestly don't remember the last time I cried.