## Archive for January 7, 2011

### Bad Job Interview

Bad job interviews. I’m happy to say that I’ve never had one. In fact, allow me to boast: With only two exceptions, I’ve always been offered the jobs for which I’ve interviewed. (The exceptions were for jobs in New York and Wisconsin, and I didn’t get hired because the organizations wanted candidates from New York and Wisconsin, respectively. Well, shoot… they should’ve listed that in the qualifications!)

Let me tell you a story about an interview that a colleague conducted. The interviewee arrived a few minutes late, which is of course a no‑no. She apologized for her tardiness, but then she proceeded to remove a bowl, a spoon, a single‑serving box of cereal, and a small carton of milk from her purse. And I kid you not — darned if she didn’t proceed to eat her breakfast right there at the interview!

Wow.

Here’s an interview that wasn’t quite so bad:

At the end of their interviews with an investment firm, three interviewees — a pure mathematician, an applied mathematician, and a graduate in mathematical finance — are asked about the starting salary they expect.

The pure mathematician asks, “Would $30,000 be too much?”

The applied mathematician states, “I think $60,000 would be fair.”

The math finance graduate asks, “How about $300,000?”

The interviewer is aghast. “Do you know that a graduate in pure mathematics is willing to do the same job for 10% of what you’re asking?”

“Yes, I considered that,” he said. “I was thinking $135,000 for me, $135,000 for you, and $30,000 for the pure mathematician to do the work.”