October 05, 2018

The Roundup: Weird interview questions, a survey on dream jobs, and dealing with flu season

In this week's Roundup, make sure your interview questions aren't too weird, or you might lose candidates. Also, Jeff Weiner, Serena Williams, and more survey people about work and life, while guess what? Employees shouldn't go to work when sick.

Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Managing Editor, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

Are your interview questions too weird?

This week, Slate featured a piece on weird interview questions. Specifically, it highlights the fact that some employers have a “disorganized and chaotic approach” to hiring, making interviews “feel more like social introductions than inquiries into whether a candidate would excel at the job.” This in turn can result in candidates turning down jobs because the interview feels unstructured, or just…weird.

Some examples in the article include: spending an extensive amount of time talking about personal travel, having a one-sided conversation about the role and not asking the candidate any questions, and asking a candidate’s deepest, darkest secret (and who they would tell it to).

While the piece offers advice for candidates who find themselves in this situation, there are also some points for employers to pay attention to. Yes, there’s a balance in getting to know the candidate beyond their resume, but structure is important to keep things on track. The article suggests employers should provide training for interviewers, who should be ready with a set of questions “designed to assess the must-have qualities for the role.”

22% of Americans have their dream job

That’s according to a recent poll by SurveyMonkey. Quartz reports on the results, which are part of a SurveyMonkey campaign featuring “influencers” including Jeff Weiner and Serena Williams, who each asked three questions via a SurveyMonkey survey about “topics that matter to them.”

LinkedIn CEO Weiner posed questions about dream jobs – and in fact, Weiner has said that if he could ask a job candidate just one question, it would be, “What’s your dream job?”

The survey also broke down the answers further by age group. Forty-six percent of people 65 years or older said they currently have their dream job, while only 16% of people ages 35 to 49 said they do.

Tennis pro Williams asked about balancing work and life, and found (unsurprisingly in today’s climate) that “working moms face the toughest choices.” Women are four times more likely than men to be primary caregivers, and 51% of women said they feel guilty about work (compared to 39% of men).

Meanwhile, NBA star Draymond Green’s questions about speaking up at work revealed that fewer women than men feel their opinions are valued (59% compared to 66%) and that they can speak up (58% compared to 68%).

Thrive Global CEO and founder Arianna Huffington’s questions about burnout found one area where responses were the same: 19% of Americans say they feel behind at work, and there was no difference between men and women.

Is it a cold or flu?

It’s that time again – cold and flu season. And workplaces are open ground for spreading whatever’s in the air via subway sneezing and cubicle coughing, with people loading up on hand sanitizer and vitamin C to keep illness at bay.

A Monster poll found that 75% of people would choose to work while sick – the seeming compulsion to work driven by factors including by high job demands, job insecurity, or feeling that they’re not sick enough.

But experts agree: don’t go to work when you’re sick – it’s better for everyone. A good practice for managers is to reassure employees that that it’s okay to go home.

As for whether it’s a cold or flu, Popular Science this week clues us in to the key differences.

P.S. This is how far your sneeze germs can travel (h/t to Quartz for the link).

Related: Paid sick leave continues to trend across the U.S. - here's what you need to know

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