The One Question Everyone Wants To Ask At A Job Interview

Job interviews are awesome.  You study and practice answers to insightful questions such as:

“Tell me about a time when you were working on a team and someone asked you to do something unethical…”

Those questions suck.  That one in particular sucks.  If you have had the good fortune not to work for any sleazy dbags, you won’t have an answer, so do what everyone does: make something up.

The best part of the interview, however, is at the end.  This is the time when they ask you if you have any questions for them.

Be prepared: if you don’t have any questions you won’t get hired.  It doesn’t matter if they already addressed all your concerns, because not having any questions means you aren’t really interested in the job, so have some ready.  The thing is, they have to be appropriate questions.  They have to be G-rated.  You cannot ask the one question that you want to ask most:

“What is the most annoying part about this job?”

Of course, you can’t actually ask that, and if you did, no one would actually answer it.  No one wants to admit that there are things about their job they don’t like.

If you were lucky enough to get an answer, it would probably be phrased as “well, nothing is annoying (lie!), but some things are challenging…

But you know what?  It’s not always the “challenging” parts that are annoying.  I don’t mind a good challenge.  Challenges feel good when you complete them.  Annoying things don’t.  There’s no sense of satisfaction when you finally get through something annoying.  I mean, there’s relief, but not satisfaction.

I’ve often found that the most annoying parts of a job are relatively small things that don’t even take much time to complete, but they just cause so much mental dissonance that it is difficult to do them.  That’s why I usually begin to slack off and do something else.  I’ll jump right into a challenge, but I keep the annoying stuff at bay.

Just so we’re clear, if you ask that question in an interview, you probably won’t get the job.  You’ll be labeled as “pessimistic” and “not a team player” and “unmotivated” or whatever else they want to say.  But if you happen to be at a job interview that you don’t care about, ask the question and then write me and tell me what their response is.  I’ll post it up in a future article.

Resumes Are Hilarious (part 1)

Don’t get me wrong:  resumes are definitely a vital part in the process of obtaining a job.  But I always laugh at three specific parts of a resume, the first of which we will look at in this article.

Objective Statment

Objective statements are hilarious because every single one of them can be rephrased as “I want a job so I can get money.”

For example:

IT professional highly proficient with transforming established preliminary business requirements into fully functioning systems.  Focused team leader capable of efficiently managing both on and offsite resources. Focused resource instrumental to exhaustive quality checks during development and testing. Synergistic team leader looking for a challenge to further develop interpersonal facilitation skills.

Which can basically be shortened to this:

IT professional highly proficient with transforming established preliminary business requirements into fully functioning systems blah blah buzzwords synergy ping take it up the flagpole obviously I don’t really give a shit what I do I just want this job for the money.

Which can then be shortened to this:

I would like a job so I can have some income.

It’s true.  Don’t lie to yourself.  Proof: would you continue to work at your job if you didn’t need money?

Of course not.

Unless your job is fun, like if you’re a guitar teacher or you work with puppies or something, but in that case you probably don’t have a corporate job so you’re not even on this website.

The Worst Job Search Advice Ever

The economy and job market both suck right now and everyone is getting (or has already gotten) laid off, and as a result pretty much everyone is looking for a job right now, too. As a result, a lot of “job search” websites are popping up, some of which are legit, many of which are filled with horrible advice, and a few of which are even designed to take advantage of your situation and screw you over.

Bad Advice 1: You should bypass the internet and physically go to the company’s office to drop off your resume so they can get to know your face.
The truth: Not only is that soliciting, but chances are the office you go to won’t even be the same location that houses their HR department, and the conversation will go like this:

You: “Hi, I’d like to drop off my resume”
Them: “Um, ok. We’re a development branch. You need to talk to HR.”
You: “Ok, where are they?”
Them: “In (some other state). Visit our website and submit your resume online.”

And that’s if you even get someone to talk to that doesn’t give you a giant “wtf face” when you try to give them your resume. Or, they might take your resume and just toss it right after you leave because they don’t care.

Bad Advice #2: Send out your resume to everyone on Craigslist
The truth: Craigslist is a pretty awesome place. BUT, many of the “employment opportunities” on CL are scams. People make fake companies which are usually identifiable by a crappy looking website and no mention of them anywhere else on the entire internet and collect hundreds of resumes and email addresses from people on CL who blindly mail them their resumes, and they sell your info to spammers. I recently saw a job posting on Craigslist from an “established international company who has many Fortune 500 clients,” yet this company had no links anywhere on the entire internet other than the ones on their own pages. How many established international companies do you know who are mentioned exactly zero times on the entire internet? Also, their website was a complete piece of crap full of clipart and generic stock photos of happy-looking business people. How many established international companies do you know of who can’t afford to create a website? Exactly.

Bad Advice #3: While you’re looking for another “real” corporate job, it’s better to take a minimum wage job in the meantime even if it pays less than unemployment.
The truth: Are you serious? So you’re saying that working 40 hours a week and making minimum wage is better than working 0 hours a week and making more than minimum wage? That’s the dumbest and most illogical thing I’ve ever heard. Not only is it financially inefficient, but you’re also wasting 40 hours a week that you could be using to find another job or start your own company. Basically, you’re doing work in order to make less money. If that is really your philosophy, please use the contact button on my page and let me know because I’d like to hire you and pay you less than you’re making now. Actually, on second thought, don’t bother; if that really is your philosophy you’re probably too much of an idiot to work for me, anyway.