Remember when I said that, for the first interview for the reporter job at a newspaper, I was asked a certain icebreaker question? I said that I had answered so uniquely that they just had to have me back for the second interview.
Well, as I said, I was then sworn to secrecy and challenged to figure out the correct answer on my own by the time I got there for the second interview. I also said that the second interview went pretty well but, up to Friday, they still hadn't made their decision. So, in the meantime, why not share that question with you and the answer I provided? Exactly!
It went like this:
It went like this:
“king ... was seen walking and talking half an hour after his head was cut off”
True or False?
Now, for those of you who have come across this type of thing before, the obvious thing is that the sentence is missing a punctuation mark. It makes more sense if you put a comma right after “talking”. I’m sure this would have also occurred to many of you even if you haven’t done this kind of test before.
I, on the other hand, did not exactly answer it in the traditional sense. In fact, I totally missed the point, so to speak. My answer looked more like:
I can’t answer this question without getting some more information first:
- Was it really the king who was executed? It isn’t farfetched to think that he had a double take his place so that he could escape execution.
- Was it the same king ...? Could it have been one “king ...” who was executed and some other “king ...” who was seen both walking and talking somewhere else?
- Was the king who was seen in the act of walking and talking his successor (IE: King… the 2nd, or 3rd, etc)?
- Was the event where he was seen walking and talking a recording played after his execution? No mention of era was given in the above statement.
I stopped there. There were some other things I wanted to know, but I didn’t bother to put down (mostly because I ran out of paper):
- Was the king a walking, talking zombie? You know! As opposed to the more common shuffling & moaning variety.
- What did he do to piss everyone off anyway?
- Did he use time travel? If that was the case, he could have just been saying, “I’ll be the first king to go back in time,” then walked over to the time machine (See? Both talking and walking being done) and used it to go back in time one week. Unfortunately, his feat would have been seen as some sort of sorcery and the people then decided to execute him for practicing the dark arts.
Fortunately, they overlooked the fact that I
am an idiot
completely missed the point of the question and decided that my need to dig
deeper, think outside the box and ask more questions were exactly the
characteristics they were looking for in a future journalist. I was then
allowed to proceed to interview number two.
I can only conclude that the moral of this story is: If you’re going to get it wrong, get it wrong with style. Things just might work out.