Have you ever been asked, What do people incorrectly assume about you?” in a job interview? I have fought back the urge to admit that they have wrongly assumed I am a demi-god while the gods merely bless me.

What the hell do they expect you to say? Dig your foot into the carpet, look bashful and say, “well, they assume just because I have am a genius, Phi Beta Kappa, a tenth degree black belt, Ph.D, and published more times than I can count, that I’m an egotist?”

 Questions like this are almost always one of those double trap questions. They get made up by people for whom the Myer-Briggs tests are not sinister enough. Somewhere there is a headshrinker smiling manically and rubbing hands together, pleased that there is no correct answer. The answer key will always indicate some character disorder, underlying sociopathy, or at a minimum, a highly neurotic personality.

But take heart if you create or choose absurd answers; you might get hired anyway. 

You then need to ask yourself if you need this job enough to work for a bunch of whack jobs who’d ask this type of question in a job interview. But if you do decide to accept their offer, even if the questions indicate that you are a psychopath, remember the words of Peter Drucker, “So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work.” 

If you work for an organization like that, you’ll need to recall that quote often.

5 Replies to “Assumptions”

  1. I wish, as an interview, we would just show people how to do something (if they don’t know how to already) and see how quickly they do it correctly. But they insist that finding ‘the right fit’ is more important than finding someone competent. Because we go to work to find friends and not to work…

  2. Gotta love this! Not only were we required to go through Myers-Briggs testing, but were color tested. And then provided written instructions on how our color is to get along with the supervisor’s color. Ah, teamwork at its finest.

  3. People assume that no way am I going to give them half my first year’s salary if they hire me. People assume that I’m not brilliant. People assume that I don’t want to work overtime for free….

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