I remember reading a particularly grating “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” think piece a while back that centered around this particular interview question:
The writer of the piece I read spelled out his response, which was impossibly eloquent and clever and I don’t believe for a second it’s what he actually said in the spur of the moment unless he’d taken the time to write it out beforehand. On top of that, I thought, what’s your point? That the ability the bullsh*t someone into buying a thing they don’t need is the ultimate badge of hard work?
Anyway, I like the answers from these Redditors better.
1. Pen games.
Not me, but a former sales manager was a douchebag who prided himself on being the greatest and the only one who knew everything about sales and tech (he didn’t, hence the word “former”).
He was trying to find a new salesperson but rejected nearly every resume I put in front of him for nitpicky bullsh*t until one day he announced that he’d found the perfect candidate and was bringing him in for a formal interview but he was pretty sure he was going to hire him on the spot.
He kept going on and on about how this guy was perfect and why couldn’t we find him someone like this and blah blah blah. Whatever, fine, just get it done.
He bought the guy in, sat him down and said “sell me this pen.”
The guy picked up the pen, handed it back and said “I don’t play pen games.”
Then he walked out and we never heard or saw him again.
2. Discount special.
— Would you really hire somebody who charges you 50 quid for a pen that was already yours to begin with?
— 50 quid?!?
— Alright, 30 for you. Deal?
3. Take backs.
I asked “may I see it?” I then put it in my pocket
He asked for the pen back and I tried to charge him £10 for it.
I didn’t get the job or get to keep the pen.
4. Nah, man.
Stood up and f*cked off out of there.
It was a job for truck driving. What a c*nt.
5. Why twice?
“I don’t have to, you already bought it”
I got the job.
6. Trick questions.
Easy, tell the interviewer you cannot because your sale method is not selling a customer something they do not need, but match the right customer to the right product at the right time
7. Not today, Susan.
I heard it being asked at a group interview by the new lady from HR…I shot her a “wtf” look she asked a different question instead.
8. Truck you.
I sold a guy a truck, about a week later he interviewed me for a job (didn’t know it would be the same guy) he asked me the pen question, paused and said “we did that last week” and moved on.
9. For real?
I’m in sales and anybody that thinks this question has any value past 1995 isn’t someone worth working for.
10. Higher ground.
“You’re not my market. I can get more elsewhere. I’ll keep it for now, thanks ”
11. Old news.
“Be more creative with your interview questions”
12. The reveal!
Pull off my shirt to reveal the Staples uniform underneath.
“You mean sell it to you again.”
– [user deleted]
13. Game style.
Disassemble the pen and give them one part for free, and offer the rest in a series of microtransactions.
“But sir, I applied to be a janitor.”
15. The Batman!
“You wanna see a magic trick?”
I’d hire all these people.
What would your response be?
Tell us in the comments.