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Why Have Job Interviews Gotten So Weird?

andjohan, Flickr

For job interviews, it used to be enough to just show up in a nice suit, answer some perfunctory questions and be on your way.

But these days, some companies have changed the interview process so much that candidates wind up feeling as though they’re trying out for a reality TV show instead of simply vying for a 9-5 paycheck.

The Los Angeles Times calls the trend “extreme interviewing,” and cites the example of one company that made internship hopefuls write 13 different 140-character messages on Twitter to illustrate why they should be chosen for the gig.

In addition, other interviewees are now often asked questions for which there is no right answer, like, “If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” or “On a scale of 1 to 10, how weird are you?”

The popular Pinkberry chain even asks potential hires to act out fake commercials and come up with marketing plans for hypothetical new products — and that’s just for a job scooping frozen yogurt. In a statement, the company said such exercises “allow us to see immediate impact on team connectedness, demonstrate service and leadership skills and unveil entrepreneurial spirit.”

Bottom line: the next time you have an interview, keep in mind that while you probably won’t have to eat anything icky in ‘Fear Factor’ style, you may very well have to prove your worth in a variety of bizarre ways.


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