What is your greatest strength (or superpower for the really lame)? If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring? If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why? These are allegedly questions designed to reveal a candidate’s character. I would call this “pop psychology” for those who defend such ludicrous questions in an interview. Moreover, most people who would ask such a question do not have the experience to adequately interpret the answers they would receive.
Yes! I once had a screening call with an HR staffer who I could tell was just out of college, who proceeded to pull out what must have been the stupid question of that month for HR professionals: “Tell me about a time when you did everything right and it turned out wrong.” I told her straight out I couldn’t answer the question because I failed to see its relevance to anything about the job. In my mind, I thought, and how, young woman, do you intend to interpret my response?
My bitchy twin was thinking I should have said, “Why yes. I did everything right in applying for this job: crafted a great cover letter, customized my resume, and researched your organization, and yet I’m confronted with this asinine question when you clearly know nothing about the actual job.”