The Most Important Interview Questions

WE have been holding interviews at work for a trainee reporter. All these earnest young men and women troop through our doors, clutching their cuttings, and are put through their paces. We trust in providence – and the editor - that the best candidate has been selected… but you can never be sure.

Intelligence, writing ability, interviewing skill and network of contacts all help but they are never the full story. You can still get lumbered with someone as pleasant to work with as a typhoid carrier.

Unfortunately, rigorous though our interview procedure is, the candidates are never asked the right questions. They should all be grilled on the following:

1. How often would you bring a tin of biscuits to work?

2. What type of biscuits would they contain? (Points added for chocolate, deducted for plain selection box.)

3. Do you have any unsocial habits? (Points deducted for crotch-scratching, nose-picking, farting and regular belching.)

4. Are you full of useless bits of information, like who won the FA Cup in 1992 or who sang Lipstick on Your Collar? It’s very important to be well-versed in trivia for random office conversations.

5. How quickly do you get drunk? Select from:
a. As soon as I sniff the barmaid’s apron.
b. I once drank Oliver Reed under the table.
c. Somewhere in between a. and b.
Only c. is an acceptable answer. People who answer a. or b. are a pain to go out with, a. because you have to look after them all evening and b. because they cost too much.

6. Can you listen to long and tedious stories from older colleagues without yawning or raising your eyes to heaven in that, “What’s the boring old fart on about now?” kind of a way?

7. Do you know any celebrities about whom you can gossip? Exaggeration is perfectly acceptable, although there must be a glimmer of truth in the story.

8. Are you a smart arse? Smart arses who always think they are right are certainly not acceptable colleague material. There's only one person in this office who is always right - and you're talking to her.

9. Do you mind colleagues taking the piss out of you mercilessly – about your clothes, hair, age, choice of music etc?

10. Do you own any weapons (very important, especially if the answer to 9. is yes)?

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  1. Ha ha, I think you should be doing the interviewing behind closed doors from now on and keep it strictly confidential. Mum's the word! Do pay the a decent salary, though. The deserving ones, anyway.

  2. I love the interview. Very important points in deed. Based on your interview criteria, I consider myself hired :)

  3. If you hire me as a trainee reporter, I'll bring lots of biscuits. And Friday cakes from M&S.

    Do I have the job?

  4. If I can't come to work for you, can you come and interview for me?

    Tina (used to be at Too Young for a Midlife)

  5. Brilliant selection of questions, Table. Have you selected teh right candidate yet?!

  6. Ace questions. Have they put you in charge of interviewing yet?

  7. Well obviously your interview questions are the most important ones - does anyone ever get them all right? LOL

  8. Can I come and work with you please? You can bring the biscuits on Mondays and I'll bring cream cakes on Fridays.

  9. If they can't play Name-that-tune, they should just stay home.

  10. ah yes. we like cookies in the newsroom, too.

  11. Sounds like a super place to wrok but I may have a problem with question number 8 - I am a bit of a Know it All. I'd have to try and bluff in interview . . .

  12. As you can see - my typing skills and proof reading skills would let me down though. . .
    I meant a super place to WORK!

  13. Okay, I'm officially applying and here are my answers ...

    1. I'd bring in a new tin of biscuits as soon as the previous one was half way through its last layer.

    2. The biscuits contained therein would be a mixture of dark, milk and white chocolate with only a few plain ones, for those on diets.

    3. The only anti-social habit to which I'll admit is an addiction to innuendo but I'd also ask for laughing filthily at anything vaguely smutty to be taken into account.

    4. I am full of mostly useless bits of information, usually inaccurately remembered. This is quite useful for starting pointless office arguments and discussions.

    5. Definitely somewhere between a and b.

    6. This shouldn't be a problem as I'll be the one telling the long and tedious stories.

    7. I can dish the dirt with the best of them - but you'll have to give me the job to find out what I know about whom.

    8. I'd be happy to take my rightful place in the smartarsedness pecking order and recognise that there must be due deference given to seniority where this is concerned.

    9. I have three kids - I'm well used to having the piss ripped.

    10. Apart from an occasionally sarcastic tongue, no.

    So ... when do I start?

  14. GSW: I'm only on the interview panel when new staff are being recruited for my department, hence we're rarely short of biscuits in my part of the office!.

    Wine and Words: When can you start?

    PDEWYMO: Friday cakes from M&S? You can be the editor!

    The Woman Who Can: I will gladly interview for you, especially if you have nice coffee and cake. (Hello, Tina. I will change your address on my links.)

    Flowerpot: Yes, we have a new trainee. A very able and pleasant girl who seems to fit most of the criteria - although no sign of a biscuit yet! I shall have to have words....

    Elizabeth M: Unfortunately, I don't often sit on the interview panel - an oversight I'm sure will be rectified when I can bribe someone with a packet of Hob Nobs!

    Akelamalu: We have a very friendly office so I think my questions must sink in by osmosis somehow!

    Mopsa: You're hired. Friday is already my favourite work day - now it will be even more special!

    Maria: I so agree! We haven't played Name That Tune yet, but it's now on the agenda!

    Laurie: Cookies/biscuits are vital to the news-gathering operation, as I'm sure you agree.

    Ladythinker: Good idea to bluff in the interview. If you could just tone it down to being a nearly-know-it-all, I'm sure you'd get the job.

    Teuchter: I've polished your desk, bought you a special notepad and pen, cleared a space for the biscuits, put some coffee on to brew and cleared a (big) space for your biscuits. See you on Monday.

  15. Love the interview questions. I might start asking similar! K x

  16. Hi, I have a great story about the search for the world's first kettle that I would love to send you but I can't find your email address. Please can you drop me an email and I will send it over.


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