Think about it

by Barb
(Sarasota, FL , US)

I had an interview question which I thought was a bit different.

The question was: "How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"

So I took a deep breath and thought about the position I was applying for, which was answering questions about how to fill out tax forms on the internet. I assumed I would encounter persons during calls that would know nothing about a computer so that is where I started thinking about trying to tell someone how to make a PB and J sandwich.

I assumed they knew nothing and started explaining about different peanut butter smooth vs creamy and jellies, half a sandwich vs whole sandwich etc.

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Job Seekers Need to Assess Employers at Job Interviews
by: Lisa McGrimmon

Anonymous, you make an interesting point.

When you are interviewing for a job, you are assessing the employer as much as they are assessing you.

So, I personally would continue an interview if an employer asked me a question like how do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I would assume they were trying to learn something about my ability to provide clear instructions about something that I didn't have a chance to rehearse before the interview.

However, there are questions that an employer might ask that would make me decide that I didn't want to work for that type of person. For example, I have two young children, and they are a top priority for me, so if an employer asked questions that made me strongly believe they had a problem with me having young kids, I would decide that wasn't the right place for me.

I wouldn't walk out of the interview. I'd finish it up as practice, but I wouldn't want to work somewhere that clearly did not fit with my most important values.

Where to draw the line is a very personal and individual decision. It depends a lot on a person's core values, as well as the current labor market, whether the person has other options available, and a person's financial situation.

Your core point is very important. Job seekers need to remember that in a job interview, they need to assess how well the job and the company fits with their needs.

by: Anonymous

I would have gotten up and walked out. Why would anybody want to work for an employer who is this ridiculous? Professional questions only please.

Great Job Thinking on Your Feet in the Job Interview
by: Lisa McGrimmon

Barb, you were so smart to think about what the employer was really trying to determine with that crazy interview question.

Often in job interviews, there is a question behind the question that's being asked. So, as you realized, your interviewer didn't really care about PB and J sandwiches; he or she wanted to see how well you could communicate instructions to someone.

Great job thinking on your feet during your job interview!

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