Thursday, February 07, 2008

Correct Answers to HR Interview Questions

As you know the Captain believes (sincerely) that human resources is literally one of the largest threats to future economic growth, the American way of life and in short, western civilization. It reigns over a vital bottleneck of the economy (the labor market) and is manned by ineffectual, incompetent bitter people whose primary motivation is NOT choosing the best people, but to derive a high from wielding power over others.

But, even though HR and their bureaucratic minions may seem to bode ill for you, me, and pretty much anybody else who took and passed calculus in high school, there are ways to circumvent HR because they are, after all, some of the dumbest people on earth.

Here is a GREAT tutorial on how to handle all those stupid HR questions. You know, questions like,

"Where do you see yourself in 5 years?"

Answer - "Not here because corporate America is so unreliable in terms of long term employment I presume I shall be working for your competitors or collecting welfare because you've made it impossible to work anywhere and maintain sanity."

"Have you ever had a disagreement with your boss, how did you resolve it?"

Answer - "Yes, I had another baby boomer boss ask me to put together a MS Excel spreadsheet because he "Didn't have time to learn Excel."" I said, "OK, pay me all the social security I've given you and we'll talk."

THere are others, but you get the idea. If a "profession" has to resort to this as their primary means of qualifying labor, you know it isn't a "profession."

Of course, there is a revolutionary idea I had and I actually do follow. I don't know why more people don't do this, but I surmise it's because we've all been brainwashed to think the labor market is a one sided coin.

Refuse to be interviewed by HR.

You see, no matter what the unemployment rate is, companies and corporations still need employees. No matter how bad it gets, they still need us as much as we need jobs. Most people don't realize this and go in and totally short sell themselves, looking at a 9% unemployment rate.

But what if,

just what if,

people were fed up enough with the pretentious, arrogant, morons in the HR department and simply refused to interview with HR?

What if there was a general groundswell movement wherein youth, graduates, employment seekers, the future life-blood of all corporations, all of the sudden got an ounce of self-respect and said,

"You know something, I no longer am interviewing with HR. If you want to consider me for a genuine position within your company, then you have me talk to the hiring manager or boss. Not some idiotic 23 year old HR ditz who graduated 2 weeks ago from some worthless HR program and doesn't know jack about my job, let alone my industry."

You mock me, but consider this;

"Have you ever gotten a job through HR?"

And now you see there is really no downside to refusing to interview with HR.

Nobody gets a job through HR. They offer NOTHING to the potential candidate, the potential talent, the potential future leader and innovator a means to get into the company. It's like having some super popular "prom queen" chick in high school threaten she'll never go out with you - she would never go out with you in the first place, ergo the threat is hallow.

And so, I hope with this little post, that it may start a trend, or at least instill some self-respect to job-seekers, to refuse to deal with HR. Not just for something as noble as "principle" but something as simple as practicality, because, well, exactly what has HR done for prospective candidates except waste their time?


Ed Kohler said...

Great stuff. I think the HR interviews are partly so poor because they are designed as a filter of the unknown. In fact, if your first interview is with HR rather than a connection more directly to who you'll eventually report to, you'll have a long uphill battle proving your value to screeners.

Mrs. Bob said...


As someone who is recently back in the job market seeking employment again I find the biggest downfall to getting a job is that you have to submit your application or resume to HR first. Most of the places I could work in my field and most of my jobs have been with huge multinational corporations. However you have to send your resume to some HR ditz who is halfway across the country and hope that they forward it on to whoever is actually hiring which is hopefully the manager of the office in the city you actually want to work in.

dienw said...

The same goes for online applications.

Marvin said...

With a few notable exceptions, most of the HR people I've dealt with are unskilled gossipmongers. They work in HR because they can't get a job doing anything else. It's very sad that such people have so much power over everyone else in the organization.

CBMTTek said...

And, look what shows up on the front page of Yahoo! today.

Coincidence? I think not.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

This fellow here who presumably knew a thing or two about business had a simple suggestion about the HR department...sack them all. His book Up the Organisation was the only sane management book ever written.

S. Harvey said...

To the oatmeal's manhole question: manholes are round so you can't drop them down the hole.

now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Anonymous said...

Remember when they were called "Personnel Departments", as if the employees they dealt with were actual HUMAN BEINGS? Calling it "Human Resources" shows you how they really think -- you're no more to them than coal, timber, or any other fungible commodity, and they'll put no more effort into their jobs than one trying to procure bauxite at the lowest price per ton would.

Anonymous said...

Back when my company actively recruited people on college campuses, the interviewers were never HR people. They sent engineering managers, programming managers, but never an HR person, unless the job was for an HR person. In short, they sent technical people to hire technical people.

Then the second round interviews were all with technical managers. I never did interview with an HR person at the company.

Since the last time I interviewed for a job was over 30 years ago, I've never actually interviewed with an HR moron. And yes, most are indeed morons.

Anonymous said...

I recruit business / industrial engineering interns for my department every summer. All I want from HR is resumes of properly educated people who speak understandable English and are eligible to work here.

Anonymous said...

How about the posts requiring many years of quota busting performance. If anyone is that f__king good they wouldn't be looking for a job!!

Anonymous said...

YES. Got here randomly, but feel the same way. I was hired as a programmer and had to walk the gauntlet with HR because I didn't have a computer science degree. HR people who knew jack-shit about programming were pulling the strings? Idiotic.

The Great and Powerful Oz said...

Where do I expect to be in 5 years? Finishing my Masters of Divinity degree and leaving the IT business forever. My current boss still decided to hire me, probably because I've been there on contract for six months doing a very good job. Hiring somebody who wants to do good work for 5 years and then change careers is not a bad stratagy in today's world.

raliv said...

As a young person graduating in May, I always enjoy your insight and advice for the youth of this country in getting the most out of life.

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