Application Questions Explained, Part IV

Previous three questions give respondent a break from thinking about their work ethic.  These three give them one more chance to think about it, to reconsider their responses to earlier questions.

Realize that many aren’t doing what we want them to do, which is to reflect deeply about themselves and their surroundings.  For all we know, most applicants are plowing through the questions, wondering how it’s relevant to the job, and figuring out ways to “outsmart” the questions, to provide the answers applicant thinks reviewers want to hear.  Many may think this is some funny shit, must be chill place to work.

Anyway, for the third time, we ask:

Why are you so lazy?
a) I daydream a lot.
b) I’m bored.
c) I make excuses and blame others when something goes wrong.

Asking this questions for the third time to give those who answered “I’m not lazy” earlier to reconsider.  Are you being lazy when you’re daydreaming (on the job)?  YES, because you’re not observing, learning.  We’re starting you out with low-stress robot work not so you can become a bored robot, but so you have an opportunity to observe your surroundings so you can eventually do something more challenging.  (Marco Pierre White, the youngest to achieve 3 Micheline stars, became a great chef because he was (and probably still is) unusually observant and is intensely focused enough to have a photographic memory for food).  We’re also trying to point out that boredom and laziness go together.  Seems like nobody makes excuses and blames others.  Glad to know there are so many responsible people applying.  Maybe they can teach me and my staff something, because we’re always making lame excuses for why something goes wrong.

Why are you so stupid?
a) I’m lazy and obedient, so I don’t ask questions.
b) I’m confused and bored, I don’t see the point.
c) I’m not stupid, I’m brilliant!

As with most questions, we deliberately offer three unattractive choices.  We do this to force applicants to consider who they really are instead of repeating platitudes about themselves they learned in school or at home.  Pressure is on if you pick C, meaning you’ll have several chances to show off your brilliance during the interview.  If owner doesn’t break you within 20 minutes, we may offer you a job.  A few picked B.  B we can work with.  It’s normal to be confused and bored, especially when you have few responsibilities.  Nobody picked A, yet we see A everywhere.  We prefer to work with those who pick A or B.  We’re also uneasy working with those who brag about their talents.  Makes us, the less talented, feel bad about ourselves.  Can’t have that at work, right?

Why do you hate poor people?
a) We hate those we’re afraid of becoming. I’m afraid I’ll become or am one of them
b) I don’t hate them. I want to help them by showing them how to become better, someone more like me.
c) They’re lazy and have bad habits that are ruining society. They’re hopeless.

Again, three unattractive options.  Choose A and you admit hating poor people, in spite of education that tells you to never feel this way.  Choose B and you’re arrogant.  Choose C and you’re mean to the less fortunate.  We’re now pushing applicant to be honest, and perhaps reconsider how they answered earlier questions.  We’re also trying to get applicants to understand the double sided nature of the choices we make.  We want them to recognize the struggles (within) one has to overcome to become truly compassionate.  Question based on interview we had with a an applicant:

Interviewer: What would you like to do for a career?
Applicant: I dunno, I just know that I want to help poor people.  Maybe work for WIC (Federal food stamp and nutrition program).  Help them eat better, healthier.
Interviewer: What do you think of Roger’s Market (favored by those on food stamps).
Applicant: It’s awful, gross.  I’ll never go back there.
Interviewer: So you hate poor people.
Applicant: [priceless expression]
Interview: Roger’s is where those on food stamps shop.  If the place bothers you so much that you won’t shop there, you won’t survive two weeks working with those on food stamps.  Work at the WIC and you’ll hate people people even more than you do now. You’re not ready for that kind of work.

(Applicant was hired and is doing well).

Part IV coming soon.

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