World’s Oldest Interviewer
Interview with World’s Oldest Interviewer
With 14 million people in America unemployed and looking for work, I decided to interview the oldest interviewer I could find to learn the questions he asked, and the best answers for job seekers to use.
I had to travel thousands of years, way, way back in time to the Paleolithic Era, but was lucky to find the world’s oldest interviewer named Grogg. (See Grogg and his two colleagues in the video below).
me – Good morning, Mr. Grogg. Thank you for granting me this interview.
Grogg – Call me Grogg. Things are slow this time of year. The really big animals are hibernating.
me – You mean the mammoths?
Grogg – Mammoths, schmammoths. I’m talking about those savage beasts with tremendous bodies, tiny forelegs, gigantic jaws and teeth. And ferocious breath.
me – Do you mean Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Grogg – No, (laughing hysterically) – Mother-in-laws!
me – You do have a sense of humor. I understand, Grogg, that you are the official interviewer for your tribe. Would you tell me how you choose a candidate for a job?
Grogg – First I look at his CV. It can’t be too wordy because it is chiseled on stone.
me – CV? Oh, yes, Curriculum Vitae – the phrase used in academia. We generally refer to it as a resume.
Grogg – Sometimes I ask other members of the tribe to interview with me.
me – Right! A panel interview. Could you tell me what are your favorite questions to ask?
Grogg – I start off with “Why should our tribe hire you?”
me – Why do you ask that question first?
Grogg – To find out if the person has done any homework. Does he know our history, our culture, our favorite food to hunt? Will he fit in?
me – What would you say is the best answer to that?
Grogg – I can tell you the worst answer first. If he says, “Because I am the best candidate,” the interview is over. But if he says something like … “I know your tribe favors mammoth meat, and I have x number of years experience in mammoth slaying” that is a plus. Qualifications and experience are at the top of our list.
me – That makes sense. What do you ask next?
Grogg – “Why did you leave your last job?” We want to know if the tribe restructured or reorganized. That’s been happening a lot lately.
me – You mean, was he laid off?
Grogg – Right. Honesty is very important. The next question is: “ What did you dislike most about your last job?” If he says something like “it was personality dynamics,” then we become very suspicious. Maybe he was the problem, you know?
But if he says, “I loved my last job; what I dislike most is that it ended,” he could be a winner.
me – What if this person did dislike his last job?
Grogg – I would advise that if you didn’t love your last job, don’t say anything negative. Instead, say something like: “There were many aspects of my job that were rewarding.” And give some examples.
Best Answers to Interview Questions
me – Good advice. What’s your next question?
Grogg – I used to ask the traditional interviewing questions like: “What are your strengths ?” And “What are your weaknesses?” But most hunters today know those common questions will be asked and prepare answers beforehand.
I like to ask, “Tell me about yourself” to learn personal information. You know, How many wives does he have? How many skins does he own? How many weapons is he familiar with? . . . the usual. I usually get those answers when I ask this question.
If not, later I ask, “What else should I know about you?” Works almost all the time.
me – Any other favorite questions?
Grogg – I usually ask “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
me – What is the worst answer you ever heard to that?
Grogg – If he says, “In your job,” the interview is over! I want to hire someone with specific professional goals. Good answers might be: “I hope to have more responsibility” … “more new, exciting challenges” … that sort of thing.
I also like to ask “Tell me three positive characteristics other people have said you possess.”
me – What kind of answers do you like best?
Grogg – I give points for “team builder, hard worker, creative” – especially if they use examples. Like “My chief said I was a born leader.” … “My shaman called me imaginative and creative.” … “My mother says I’m a teddy bear.” (Laughs) Just kidding with that last one.
me – Grogg, thank you for your wise advice. BTW, I noticed you only mention candidates using masculine words like ‘he’ and ‘him.’ Don’t female candidates apply for jobs with the tribe?
Grogg – Naw, we don’t allow women to work! They stay home and clean the caves, gather the firewood, cook the food, gather berries and fruits, bear the children and care for them, wash our clothes in the river, sew animal skins for clothing, and serve our food. We don’t allow females to work.
me – I guess some things never change. Is there anything you wish to add as advice for job seekers?
Grogg – Just tell them to go forth and ace those interviews. Remember to smile, use a firm handshake and as much eye contact as possible without staring. But keep your spear handy. Just in case.
© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012, 2013 Rev. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." . . . Learn to write a dynamic resume and cover letter, network effectively, interview confidently, and negotiate salary successfully. Includes chapter for older workers.
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