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The silly questions they ask you on job applications


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Old 05-10-2010, 14:00
Vodka_Drinka
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I'm in the process of filling an application in for Debenhams, and I can't believe some of the silly questions they are asking me to answer. Some examples:

"Describe an occasion when you had to strike up an immediate rapport with someone new"

"Describe an occasion when you had to remain calm under pressure, What would the consequence have been had you not remained calm?"

"Describe an occasion when you have worked as part of a team and achieved a positive outcome"

I'm sure these companies have their reasons for asking you these questions, but to me they seem silly and I'm sat here thinking, "how the hell am I going to answer that?". I usually just make stuff up What relevance do they have to position?
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:01
Star_Bright
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I think most job applications take the piss.
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:02
Vodka_Drinka
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I think most job applications take the piss.
So do I

I doubt anyone answers them honestly anyway.
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:04
KBBJ
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I'm in the process of filling an application in for Debenhams, and I can't believe some of the silly questions they are asking me to answer. Some examples:

"Describe an occasion when you had to strike up an immediate rapport with someone new"

"Describe an occasion when you had to remain calm under pressure, What would the consequence have been had you not remained calm?"

"Describe an occasion when you have worked as part of a team and achieved a positive outcome"

I'm sure these companies have their reasons for asking you these questions, but to me they seem silly and I'm sat here thinking, "how the hell am I going to answer that?". I usually just make stuff up What relevance do they have to position?
Everything. The first is about whether you can get on with strangers quickly; the second is about whether you lose your rag in the workplace or think things through; and the third is whether you get along with others or not. They concern teamwork and service.

They look pretty standard to me. Could you answer them?
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:06
spaintv
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Im currently job hunting and can relate. So many stupid questions both on application forms and at interviews! They seem especially stupid when they have read your CV / know your background but still they ask the silly questions that are proven to be stupid by your CV.

An example - I also got the question "Describe an occasion when you had to remain calm under pressure, What would the consequence have been had you not remained calm?" despite them knowing that I am a former Police officer and living in a smallish town, even knowing some of the assignments I carried out. I think they just go into Interviews being brain dead and ask everyone the same thing - which really goes to show how crap they are cos that way they are not getting anywhere near half of what they should when cross examining the candidates !

Still, back to job hunting! lol
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:07
bossoftheworld
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These are the sort of questions I usually get asked at interview.

I think that Debenhams being such a large concern is probably asking these questions to 'wittle' down even further for their short list - they must have thousands of applicants so they are just trying to find ways of chucking out ones who don't give a reasonable answer.
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:08
bossoftheworld
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Im currently job hunting and can relate. So many stupid questions both on application forms and at interviews! They seem especially stupid when they have read your CV / know your background but still they ask the silly questions that are proven to be stupid by your CV.

An example - I also got the question "Describe an occasion when you had to remain calm under pressure, What would the consequence have been had you not remained calm?" despite them knowing that I am a former Police officer and living in a smallish town, even knowing some of the assignments I carried out. I think they just go into Interviews being brain dead and ask everyone the same thing - which really goes to show how crap they are cos that way they are not getting anywhere near half of what they should when cross examining the candidates !

Still, back to job hunting! lol

I think maybe it's their company's procedures that they have to ask each applicant exactly the same question otherwise it might be deemed to be unfair.

Not sure like but I suspect that's the reason.
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:09
Magic8Ball
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I've made up some answers to help you:

"Describe an occasion when you had to strike up an immediate rapport with someone new"
I once had to strike up a rapport with a store security guard, whom I had often seen in the distance but not spoken to. On this occassion he approached me and I had to strike up an immediate rapport.

"Describe an occasion when you had to remain calm under pressure, What would the consequence have been had you not remained calm?"
When the store security guard accused me of something, it was important to remain calm under pressure. Had I failed to remain calm under pressure, the situation may have escalated and the Police may have been called.

"Describe an occasion when you have worked as part of a team and achieved a positive outcome"
A team of us decided to go shoplifting in Debenhams. Some of the team worked as lookout, while the remaining team members helped themselves to goods. My role on the team was to apprehend the security guard and keep him talking should he become suspicious. I performed my role admirably, and a positive outcome was achieved, as we managed to make off with about 2000 of stock.

Sorted! The job's yours!
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:10
malpasc
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Just make something up in response to those questions!
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:11
spaintv
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I think maybe it's their company's procedures that they have to ask each applicant exactly the same question otherwise it might be deemed to be unfair.

Not sure like but I suspect that's the reason.
eah I agree - it MUSt be standard questions. But if they engaged a bit of mind muscle they could see how sometimes they need to steer away from the script. An interview is meant to alow them to engage with an applicant - see how they tick etc, and for that, they need to adapt as the interview proceeds etc even if they start of with a standard script.

Addendum: Excuse the typos - my keyboard has been playing up the last few days! Some keys just won't go
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:11
Vodka_Drinka
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Everything. The first is about whether you can get on with strangers quickly; the second is about whether you lose your rag in the workplace or think things through; and the third is whether you get along with others or not. They concern teamwork and service.

They look pretty standard to me. Could you answer them?
Yes I know that they are standard, but I still really don't know what the relevance is? Not all stores ask these kind of questions anymore though. They prefer you to either hand in a C.V or fill in a small, basic application and then invite you in for a group interview.
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:13
KBBJ
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Yes I know that they are standard, but I still really don't know what the relevance is? Not all stores ask these kind of questions anymore though. They prefer you to either hand in a C.V or fill in a small, basic application and then invite you in for a group interview.
Maybe they haven't got the time or money for just CV sifting or a group interview. This means you have to do more up front, but it'll put off those who can't be arsed.
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Old 05-10-2010, 14:14
Tasha.smile
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Yes I know that they are standard, but I still really don't know what the relevance is? Not all stores ask these kind of questions anymore though. They prefer you to either hand in a C.V or fill in a small, basic application and then invite you in for a group interview.
I think they are looking for answers which demonstrate a friendly ethical work approach. Also ask these long winded questions, as just to fill out the application needs a certain amount of dedication towards the job. If it was just a matter of handing a CV in, they would most likely find that a lot of the people have moved on/not interested.
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