Playing off Mother Davis’ riff, what if job interviews were like Supreme Court confirmation hearings? Imagine:
Candidate: Thank you for the opportunity of this interview. I’m very much looking forward to the possibly coming to work for General Dynamics.
Interviewer: Yes, well, hmmm. We certainly do need a new nuclear engineer for our missile warhead program. What can you tell us about your background that is relevant to the job?
Candidate: As my portfolio indicates, I have a strong record of critical assessment of design errors in missile systems in my work with General Electric. For instance, in past correspondence with the project director I…
Interviewer: Pardon, but we don’t need to hear that.
Interviewer: No. The quality and character of your professional contributions in the past is irrelevant and inappropriate for us to discuss. What really matters is your personality. What kind of personality do you have?
Candidate: Oh. Well, I suppose I’m down to earth. That’s what everybody says.
Candidate: Oh, yes. Also, I’m the kind of guy who everybody would like to have a beer with.
Interviewer: What kind of beer?
Candidate: The down-to-Earth kind. Very earthy. Not snobby. Or foreign. I was wondering whether the hiring committee had any questions regarding my academic credentials or previous experience? As you can see from my list of publications, my approach has generally been to…
Interviewer: Yes, yes, well, well, harum. There’s no need for that. We wouldn’t want to discuss any approach you might employ in future work for General Dynamics. That seems somewhat beyond the pale.
Candidate: The pale?
Interviewer: Yes, the pale. Clearly beyond it. Not at all appropriate or relevant. Let’s get back on track, shall we? For instance, do you have any children? Are they cute? Are you funny? Do people find you charming? What is your record when it comes to cocktail parties?
Interviewer: Excuse me, but I’m not finished. Finally, if you were a flavor of Life Saver, which would you be, and why? I look forward to your thorough and considered responses.