Sunday, January 19, 2014

Answers To The 10 Oddball Job Interview Questions Asked at America’s Top Tech Companies (as posted by The Daily Beast)

I used to interview people. I would stare them directly in the eyes and try to make them uncomfortable. I was bored. It made being on that side of the interview a little more bearable.

Sometimes when I am walking down the street in Philly I still do it. I make eye contact with people to restore my faith in humanity. Most people WANT to make a human connection. You make eye contact and smile, they smile back. Of course sometimes they immediately look away instead. “Why is this stranger smiling at me? Oh Lord, I’m about to get ‘rolled’.”

This blog isn’t about that.

On Friday, the Daily Beast released an article about the 10 questions tech companies use to attempt to throw potential employees for a loop while interviewing. To read that article, click HERE.  

What follows are those questions and how I would answer them:

1. “If you could throw a parade of any caliber through the Zappos office, what type of parade would it be?”

Well, sir or ma’am, it is no secret that I am a huge fan of parades. Especially the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (feel free to go back to my twitter/yourherokevin to check out my November 28th tweets).
Though I’d love to throw my own Macy’s Parade, I feel I’d end up watching it more than producing it. Then there’s the potential the Snoopy balloon would fly off the parade route and destroy downtown Manhattan. So my answer would still be a Christmas parade, but it would be a shot for shot reenactment of the Turbo Man Parade in the holiday classic, ‘Jingle All The Way.’ 

Obviously, some recasting would be needed. After all Phil Hartman is no longer with us. And who the fuck knows where Sinbad is these days. So here’s my cast:

Arnold Swarzenegger = Benedict Cumberbatch (sure he’s nothing like Arnold, but he apparently has the “Jude Law” deal with Hollywood, which states he must be in EVERY film produced)
Sinbad = Jude Law (see reason above)
Phil Hartman = My neighbor Terry (keeping in mind, we are casting an annoying neighbor, and Terry’s dogs bark all night long!
*Terry, a side note – DON’T LET YOUR WIFE GO TO AN ANDY DICK PARTY!!! She’ll end up on cocaine and you’ll eventually get shot in the head)
Rita Wilson = is adorable and irreplaceable. Though I’d cast Amy Smart, as I have had a crush on her for years!
Jake Lloyd = Justin Bieber (finally someone who people hate MORE than Jake Lloyd…though in Bieber’s defense he didn’t ruin Star Wars)
Curtis Armstrong =  Chris Christie (I have a feeling the guy will be looking for work soon, and he’d make a GREAT “Booster”)

2. “How lucky are you and why?”

Are we talking on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the aforementioned Phil Hartman and 10 being Carter Oosterhouse?  (FYI – Carter Oosterhouse is married to Amy Smart. LUCKY!!!)

This question sounds like an early draft of the famous Dirty Harry line, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do you Oosterhouse?”

Seriously, I was born as a white male in America to an upper middle class family. I’m pretty fucking lucky!

3. “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?”

Finally an actual question! Cause let’s face it, The “Luck” thing was stupid, and if I am throwing a parade at a shoe store, I clearly wasted my time studying for a degree in film. But pizza delivery man seems like something a “not-quite-ready-to-admit-I’m-a-failed” filmmaker might do.

OK. Let’s set up a scenario.

I’m delivering pizza to the set of the FX original program, Justified.
Walton Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder,  LOVES deep dish.
I get out of the car and take it to his trailer.
He invites me in.
He pays, and tips quite generously.
I tell him I like Justified a lot, but I loved his previous work in The Shield. In fact, I tell him, I still think it’s the best show in the history of television.
 A PA asks, “Have you seen The Wire?”
“Yes, of course I’ve seen The Wire.” I tell him.
“How about Breaking Bad?” he continues. I look at Walton and he rolls his eyes.
“Look pal,” I’m hiding my annoyance, “Yes, I have seen Breaking Bad. It’s an incredible show. I loved it. But I still maintain The Shield tops the list.”
Walton opens the pizza. I can tell he’s super excited. He’s been shooting all night and finally has a break between camera set ups. He opens a fridge and takes out a root beer. It’s a Virgil’s. They’re OK. Not the best. But whateves.
He opens it and takes a sip. He puts it down amongst many empties strewn around the kitchenette area in the trailer.
“Well, what about The Walking Dead?”
“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?!?” I drop my pizza warmer thingie. “That show is crap. The writing is bad and the acting is worse. The only saving grace for the show is its unique mood, and quite frankly, American Horror Story creates that mood with good writing and acting.”
“Seems you only like FX programs, son,” he says as he picks up a discarded Virgil’s and smashes it to reveal a make shift weapon. 
He holds it out challenging me.
I reach behind my jacket and put out a walther .380 ppk.
I have been “rolled” too many times in this line of work to walk around "naked."
The PA squints. 
If he doesn’t back down, this won’t end well.
I look to Walton.
He nods.
The simple motion seems to say, “keep your cool, but don’t let this cocksucker get the upper hand again. I mean, come on, The Walking Dead?  Is he fucking serious?”
I nod back.
I clear my throat, “How lucky are you and why?”
I see the fear enter his eyes. This fight is over before it began.
He drops the bottle and is escorted out of the trailer and off the set.
“Hey. You want a root beer?” Walton offers. I drink it, even though it’s a Virgil’s.

The scissors were for making a heart shaped doily craft thingie. Amy Smart is on Justified this season. Check your local listings or call your cable provider and ask them for FX.

4. “Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?”

I like Rick Hunter. He was a hunter I suppose. That would make his partner Dee Dee McCall a gatherer. I like Dee Dee, but I’m going Rick on this one.

5. “If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?”

Great question! Though, let me first start by saying I likely would not vacation somewhere that puts such limitations on MY wants & needs. I’ll assume this island is a nude beach, and that my travel agent seriously recommends not taking a lot of things to carry (because where would you put them?)

I also will assume I have already looked into activities on the island. I don’t want to get there and realize they don’t have snorkeling or crafts. That would suck.

So #1, I’ll bring suntan lotion. I mean come on guys. I’m Irish and I burn. I don’t need “a lot” of suntan lotion if you know what I mean…as I said, “I’m Irish.”

#2, I’ll bring a credit card. Cash is too confusing, and where would I put all that change?  Everyone takes credit cards these days. Plus, I’m not even sure of the currency at this alleged vacation spot. 

Is it in the US? DO I need my passport? Crap. This is probably a trick question. I’m NOT going to choose passport as one of my choices, because that should have been something my travel agent and I went over before hand, when she told me I can only bring 3 things.

#3 a book? Nah, that’s lame. Oh, man a camera! I’ll have Julie take lots of photos of me to post on Facebook when we get home from our sweet vacation.

*I’m aware I have left my walther .380 ppk at home in this scenario, which is dangerous in case I get rolled. So, I’ll be “naked” on this trip in more ways than one (two ways in fact!)

6. "Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?" 

*The earliest tennis balls are believed to date back to the reign of Henry VIII. They were made of materials such as putty and human hair. Scottish craftsmen are said to have made the early tennis balls. These were made from a wool-wrapped stomach of a sheep or goat. They were then secured with a rope.
Over the years, tennis because more popular and tennis equipment emerged from the dark ages. In the late 1800s, tennis balls were constructed of leather and stuffed with hair or wool. Today, they are made from rubber and covered with felt. The felt is the fuzzy outer layer. This is the most expensive materials used in making a tennis ball. Steaming the felt makes it fluffier. The fuzzy coating increases wind resistance and control. It also reduces bounce and speed. As a ball loses some fuzz, they get bouncier. When they lose most of their fuzz, they are said to be “bald.” A bald tennis ball has more bounce and spin and is harder to control.

*Per Yahoo Answers.  For more information, check your local listings or call your cable provider and ask them for FX.

7. “What is your least favorite thing about humanity?”

It’s probably humanity’s disturbingly slow evolution of the tennis ball! I can’t believe it took 200+ years to perfect that thing! Jeez! The United States perfected democracy in the same amount of time.

‘MERICA! - 1

8. “How would you use Yelp to find the number of businesses in the U.S.?”

I wouldn’t. There are 30,285,419. I don’t need Yelp for that. It’s like asking, “How do you know if you like beets or not?” It’s just part of who you are. You just know. And I DO like beets!

YELP - 0
‘MERICA! - 2

9.  “Can you instruct someone how to make an origami ‘cootie catcher’ with just words?”

Yes I can.

10. “How does the internet work?”

You type “Amy Smart” into Google Images and press enter.


I’ll report Monday, as I assume I got the job.