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My Favorite Interview Questions

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When I talk to my friends who run companies or are in hiring positions, I usually ask them for their favorite interview question. Here are some of mine that I collected over the years:

  • – Why do you want this job?

    – What do you know about us?

    – What did you like about your last job? Why did you leave?

    – Tell me something about yourself that I can’t find out on Google!

    – Who do you admire?

    – What’s a reason why I should not hire you?

    – What do you do when you’re not working?

    – What’s something you’re bad at that you really wish you were good at.

    – What’s your favorite part of your current or previous job?

    – What’s your secret superpower?

    – When was the last time you wore a costume? And what was it?

    – What’s the shittiest job you’ve ever had?

    – What are you learning right now?

    – How do you organize your closet?

    – What would the title of your autobiography be?

    – Tell me about some people you’ve helped in your career.

    – I’m going to give you 5 minutes. Teach me something new. Anything!

    – If I was to ask your friends 3 words to describe you what would they be?

    – When is the last time you went out of your way to do something nice for someone?

    – What are the biggest values you think your parents taught you?

    – When is it okay to break the rules?

    – Give me a single sentence to tell our CEO about you when I see her later today.

    – If you weren’t getting paid for what you do, would you still be doing it?

    – How does this position relate to what you really want to be doing?

    – What do you dream of?

    – What is the thing that breaks your heart?

    – What do you want?

  • Do you remember being asked an interesting interview question? What was it?

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    emdot
    23 days ago
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    We never remember to keep this list, right?
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    digdoug
    22 days ago
    I'm saving it. My favorite question to ask in an interview is "What's something you've changed your mind about?" (Usually followed up with some Whys and Hows)
    emdot
    22 days ago
    @digdoug that's a good one!
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    Counting with Your Hand in Chinese

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    emdot
    23 days ago
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    I had no idea. : )
    San Luis Obispo, CA
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    Build A Ship

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    “If you want to build a ship, dont drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast endless sea.”
    – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    (via)

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    emdot
    23 days ago
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    <3
    San Luis Obispo, CA
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    Wifi vs Cellular

    13 Comments and 20 Shares
    According to the cable company reps who keep calling me, it's because I haven't upgraded to the XTREME GIGABAND PANAMAX FLAVOR-BLASTED PRO PACKAGE WITH HBO, which is only $5 more per month for the first 6 months and five billion dollars per month after that.
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    emdot
    28 days ago
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    Same, but at work not at home. (Ironic: since we're on a network backbone.)
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Belfong
    25 days ago
    Same to me. My work internet sucks. Probably because they throttle.
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    10 public comments
    CaffieneKitty
    24 days ago
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    Unless you live in an apartment building from the 70's, which due to an excess of stucco and rebar are nigh-perfect Faraday cages. (I don't mind not having a cell signal in my apartment so much, but when I get delivery I have to walk with them out to the freaking parking lot to get their 'debit at the door' machine to work. :-P)
    mrobold
    28 days ago
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    #same
    Orange County, California
    endlessmike
    28 days ago
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    This is definitely not the case in my house. My internet connection is very stable and I have a good enough router that I don't have issues. Meanwhile my cellular data connection is much slower due to it being a popular provider here.
    zippy72
    29 days ago
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    Weirdly this was already true in the UK for 3G and then reversed for 4G. Now I'm in Portugal it's pretty much evens.
    FourSquare, qv
    satadru
    29 days ago
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    For me it is connections to wifi outside the house which turn out to be shitty, but yes.
    New York, NY
    dianaschnuth
    29 days ago
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    Yes. This.
    Toledo OH
    schnuth
    29 days ago
    Yep. :)
    llucax
    29 days ago
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    Pretty much it, except that cellular data still have a cap, which really sucks.
    Berlin
    Ironica
    29 days ago
    Technically we have a cap too (well, it throttles after we reach it, rather than cutting off or charging more) but no one in our family has been able to use more than 60% of it in a month. And unused data rolls over, to a cap of 2x the monthly allotment. So I would have to use more than 30 GB in one month to get throttled, and I don't see that happening anytime soon, even though I almost never turn on wifi. (And I almost never turn on wifi because... see above comic!)
    JayM
    29 days ago
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    Ha
    Atlanta, GA
    alt_text_bot
    29 days ago
    reply
    According to the cable company reps who keep calling me, it's because I haven't upgraded to the XTREME GIGABAND PANAMAX FLAVOR-BLASTED PRO PACKAGE WITH HBO, which is only $5 more per month for the first 6 months and five billion dollars per month after that.
    olliejones
    29 days ago
    It's actually called "bufferbloat." It's a real thing. It's due to too much RAM (yeah, too much RAM) in your router.
    francisga
    29 days ago
    reply
    Read it for the alt text
    Lafayette, LA, USA

    Love All

    1 Comment

    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”
    – William Shakespeare

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    emdot
    32 days ago
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    Yes.
    San Luis Obispo, CA
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    Help Insurance

    1 Comment and 6 Shares

    This is my daughter Rebecca in 2013.  She was 5¼ years old when I took this picture.  Less than three days later, she almost died on an ER bed.

    She’d been completely fine when we set out for vacation that year, and just seemed to come down with a virus or something just after we arrived.  She got checked out at an urgent care center, where they diagnosed strep throat.  But antibiotics didn’t help.  She slowly got more and more sick.  We finally took her to be checked out at a nearby hospital, who were just as stumped as we were.  They were looking for a room to put her in when she seized and flatlined.

    Just like that.  She’d been ill, but not severely so.  All of sudden, she was on the edge of death.  The ER staff barely stabilized her, by intubating her and administering drugs to induce a coma.

    There was a large tumor in the center of her brain.  Our five-year-old girl, who so far as we knew was completely fine just days before, had aggressive brain cancer.

    After a midnight life flight nobody was sure she would survive, she arrived in Philadelphia and had several cranial surgeries, spent more than a week in the pediatric intensive care unit, and then was transferred down a few levels to spend another two weeks on the recovery floor, slowly rebuilding the muscle strength she’d lost from more than a week of immobility.

    Later, there were weeks on weeks of radiation and chemotherapy in Philadelphia.  After the initial treatment was done, we came home to Cleveland for more chemotherapy.

    This is her, hauling her baby brother Joshua up the slide in our backyard, and hauling her mom through the crowd at the local garlic festival.  At a CureSearch walk with her siblings and dozens of friends and family.  Just barely tolerating my terrible dad jokes, doing her utmost not to encourage me by laughing.

    We did everything we could, sometimes through tears and sickening horror, but the treatments didn’t work.  Rebecca died at home, surrounded by friends and family one final time, less than ten months after her cancer was discovered, in the early evening hours of June 7th, 2014, her sixth birthday.

    In those ten months, the total retail cost of her procedures and treatments was $1,691,627.45.  Nearly one point seven million US dollars.

    We had health insurance—really good insurance, thanks to COSE’s group plans and my wife’s and my combined incomes.  The insurance company’s negotiated rates meant they paid $991,537.29, or about 58% of the retail price.

    We paid very little, comparatively speaking, until you counted the monthly premiums.  All of it together, co-pays and premiums, was still in the low five figures.  Which we were, fortunately, able to pay.

    Without insurance, even if we’d been able to get the insurer’s rate, we’d have gone bankrupt.  All our investments, our house, everything gone.  If pre-existing conditions had prevented us from being covered, or if we’d been less fortunate and unable to afford premiums—bankrupted.

    In which case, Rebecca’s brother and sister would have suffered her death, and the loss of their home and what precious little remained normal in their lives.

    How many families live through that double hell?  How many go completely broke trying to save their child?  How many could have saved their children, with coverage that paid for life-saving treatments?  How many never had any chance of saving their child, but ran out of money before treatment was complete and now believe their lack of insurance and money was what killed their child?

    How many more will have to live with those unthinkable situations, if the House and Senate bills go forward?

    The point, the essential point, is this: every family should have the chance to fight as hard as possible for their loved one’s life without going bankrupt in the process.  And for those who cannot be saved, no family should be denied the knowledge that they didn’t have a chance.  Because knowing that does provide some (small) measure of comfort.

    The Affordable Care Act wasn’t perfect, and it was severely and willfully undercut after it launched, but it was a huge step in the right direction.  The bill currently before Congress would be an enormous step back.  I doubt that I’ll benefit from the tax cuts that are part of the bill, but if I do, I’ll commit every cent I get from them and more to unseat anyone who votes yes on this bill.  I have let my senators know this.

    I would spare every family the pain we endured, if I could, but nobody has that power.  We do, together, have the power to help every family that must endure that pain, to give them access to the simple safety net they need, to concentrate everything they can on the struggle to heal.

    I miss her every day, but I know that we did everything that could be done, including being able to afford the hospice care that kept her as comfortable as possible in her final hours, preventing the seizures and pain and fear that would have made her last moments a hell beyond endurance.  Allowing her a peaceful end.  Every family should have access to that.

    Please think about what it means to take that ability away.  Please think about what it means to take away the ability to avoid having to make those choices.

    Please.

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    emdot
    35 days ago
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    "I would spare every family the pain we endured, if I could, but nobody has that power. We do, together, have the power to help every family that must endure that pain, to give them access to the simple safety net they need, to concentrate everything they can on the struggle to heal."
    San Luis Obispo, CA
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