I heard a story this past week of a re-hiring process that took place in a local company where due to resizing, five managers from one team had to reapply for one of three positions. Not a great scenario at all.
After comparing notes post-interview, the five candidates realised that they had all been asked a rather unusual question. One panel interviewer asked just one question of each candidate: “Do you feel lucky?” Yes, my jaw dropped when I heard this. Given the firing line these candidates found themselves in, it seemed totally odd. What could the interviewer possibly hope to gain?
It turns out that he may have pinched the question from a Google search. There are other strange people in this world who have asked the same question. Apparently it is one aimed at disarming the candidate and assessing their outlook on life – are they positive and hopeful or gloomy and pessimistic?
It sounds to me like one of those silly recruitment gimmicks, that I myself (if truth be told) have fallen for before many, many years ago. You might be interested in what these candidates replied? One raved on about being so blessed all the time. Clearly that one felt lucky. Another adamantly objected to the question as it had no relevance to the position. Not so lucky. A third said that luck had nothing to do with it – just work hard. Jury is out on that one. What would your response be?
Maybe in another situation, that kind of question would not seem so passive-aggressive or downright sinister. In this situation, however, I would say that ‘inappropriate’ would be a severe understatement and the real culture of the leadership was on full display, warts and all.