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‘Dinosaur’ interview tactics spread

Employers are increasingly going for “extreme interviewing” techniques which include questions such as, “If you were a dinosaur, what would you be?”

world Updated: Mar 13, 2012 00:37 IST

Employers are increasingly going for “extreme interviewing” techniques which include questions such as, “If you were a dinosaur, what would you be?”

Although they say the way a candidate handles the question is more important than the actual answer, chances are that if someone answered “Tyrannosaurus rex”, they won’t be getting the job.

The candidate would be told, “Aha, so you are a cannibalistic predator preying on the weak, are you?”

The dinosaur tactic is part of a craze for throwing bizarre questions at candidates to see how they react, the Daily Mail reported.

The technique originated in California’s Silicon Valley.

Google, which is based there, is renowned for its intense interview process, with 50-page dossiers sometimes being prepared for a potential employee.

One question a recent candidate was asked was, “You are stranded on a desert island. You have 60 seconds to choose people of ten professions to come with you. Who do you choose? Go!”

Computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard prefers questions such as, “If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” — a reference to the first line of their national anthem, Deutschland Deutschland uber alles.

The idea of extreme interviewing is to see how quickly job seekers think on their feet and one of its pioneers was the late Steve Jobs, who put interviewees through their paces. Dealing with a candidate he considered dull, Jobs would launch into a chicken impression.