- “What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve learned along the way?”
- “If you could call yourself five years ago and had 30 seconds, what would you say?”
- What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
- What is the first moment you remember in your Life?
- What is the best question anyone has ever asked you? …and how did you answer?
How You Would Spend Your Time
- “On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you with your life?” Then, after I answered, I was asked, “What would make it a 10?”
- “How will you make this world a better place than when you came into it?”
- “When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?”
- What would you do with your time if you could afford to quit your job?
- If all jobs paid the same, what would you be doing?
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
- Are you doing what you thought you would be doing when you were growing up?
- What would you change in your life now if you wanted the answer to this question:”What is your greatest regret?” to be “I have no great regrets?”
- Someone gets a text message from you, and for whatever reason they’re not sure it’s actually you. They’re worried that someone may have stolen your phone. What could they ask to make sure it’s really you?
- What music do you listen to?
- What is the craziest belief (the one that fewest educated people will agree with) that you hold? Why do you believe it?
- Make a request where the “right thing to do” is for the other person to say no to you.
- Are you lucky?
- What would you do if you were homeless?
“How will you make this world a better place than when you came into it?”
or similarly, in the same spirit,
“When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?”
I’ve found that, in general, a person can only answer these questions well if:
- they’ve done a fair amount of self-reflection
- they’re reasonably good at long-term thought/planning
- they have a good assessment of their current skill-set, what skills they want, and how they can use the former to help achieve the latter
- they have self-confidence
- they are aware of their mortality and, rather than fearing it, are inspired to do as much good as possible
What is the first moment you remember in your Life?
What are 3 qualities that you take most pride in in yourself?
If you were to be exiled to a deserted island (presumably this island has nothing other than basic survival items) by yourself and were allowed one comfort item, what would that item be?
What is the last thing that you have seen/heard/experienced that has inspired you?
Do you have a role model right now, and why is that person your role model?
What are you most afraid of, amongst the 7 deadly fears?
- Most people don’t know what the 7 deadly fears are, so I often phrase this question as “What is worse, rejection, inadequacy, guilt, or whatever else you can think of?”
Rank the love languages for a) how you love to receive, and b) how you give.
What is the funniest thing that you’ve ever watched?
- Some people say chick flicks, some say The Office type shows, for me the Tina Fey spoof with Sarah Palin in 2008 takes the cake. You get the point.
If you go into a bookstore, what is the first section that you will go to?
What engages you intellectually?
Someone just told you “you are awesome”. What just transpired?
What drives you? If there ever come a point where you commit suicide (touch wood), presumably because you have lost all hope and drive to live, why would that be?
What would keep you up at night?
What is the most misunderstood trait/belief about you?
10 years later, you are the happiest person in the world. What could have happened in between those 10 years?
When was the last time you cried, and why?
What is your proudest moment in your life thus far?
- I get answers ranging from career accomplishments, to small things which do their family proud, to encounters with personal growth, etc.
What would be one skill that you would want to learn if you could master it in 1 hour?
Disclaimer: I think you should work hard and earn what you are paid. Nevertheless, I like to see the levity in things.
George Costanza’s 10 Commandments For ‘Working Hard’
1 – Never walk without a document in your hands.
People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they’re heading for the cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their hand look like they’re heading for the toilet. Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.
2 – Use computers to look busy.
Any time you use a computer, it looks like “work” to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, chat, and generally have a blast without doing anything remotely related to work. These aren’t exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about but they’re not bad either. When you get caught by your boss — and you will get caught — your best defense is to claim you’re teaching yourself to use new software, thus saving valuable training dollars.
3 – Keep a messy desk.
Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we’re not working hard enough. Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year’s work looks the same as today’s work; it’s volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your cubicle, bury the document you’ll need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.
4 – Use voice mail.
Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don’t call you just because they want to give you something for nothing — they call because they want you to do work for them. That’s no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a voice-mail message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they’re not there — it looks like you’re hardworking and conscientious even though you’re being a devious weasel.
5 – Look impatient & annoyed.
One should also always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.
6 – Leave the office late.
Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and story books that you always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past the boss’ room on your way out. Send important e-mail at unearthly hours (e.g. 9:35 p.m., 7:05 a.m., etc.) and during public holidays.
7 – Use sighing for effect.
Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.
8 – Opt for the stacking strategy.
It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor etc. (thick computer manuals are the best).
9 – Build your vocabulary.
Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember; they don’t have to understand what you say, but you sure sound impressive.
10 – Don’t get caught.
MOST IMPORTANT: Don’t forward this page’s URL to your boss by mistake!
OTHER HELPFUL HINTS:
Never smile when I’m on phone talking with someone at work and it isn’t about business. If you smile, then people won’t think that it is work-related.
Hold a pen in your hand at all times in between keyboarding tasks… keep it in your hand even while on the phone… have your writing pad there as well and occasionally jot something down… you’ll look as if at all times contemplating something really intelligent and ready to write it down.
Keep a really complex spreadsheet or lengthy document file (or both) open on your desktop.
Use an extended monitor with your laptop.Run a regression suite or that long build on your monitor and continue to do whatever you are doing on your laptop.
Keep your office communicator/jabber connected even when you are home.Gives a notion to your colleagues that you are really working Do it even the weekends.
Send one email a day to the team.if you don’t have anything just make up.
File bugs in your own name and keep solving them.
Go into a technical discussion and just listen even if you are not remotely interested in it.
Keep your white board messed up. Change the text everyday.
Add your manager on Facebook and show no activity when you are working.
Updating any open ticket that is being monitored by a manager on an irregular but time bound basis. Ie they love updates so give them updates. The more the better.
Narrate facts at meetings that the manager can use with his own manager. Depending on the stupidity of your manager, you’ll have to coat these nuggets with verbal affordances – ie., you’ll have to spell out exactly what you mean and then obtusely mention that your manager’s manager might find that interesting.
Sick days – well everyone knows that.
Really understanding how your boss thinks.
If you can really figure out how your boss thinks, you can focus on those activities except at deadline time. Even if you don’t hit the deadline your boss is usually confused enough between what he sees and your results to give you 1 more chance till the next review. so this method gives you 2 review cycles worth of time to phone it in.
Use the Outlook email scheduler to send out emails at 4 am. Note: for important emails only, don’t send out “FYI”-type emails about interesting work articles you’ve come across, no one believes you’re browsing Bloomberg for work at 4 am.
And the most popular time strangler, go to a meeting. It’s a place where idea’s get stranded in a cul-de-sac.
Recently, I’ve done joint announcements with Oracle, SAP, HP, Tibco, Software AG and HP. As you can imagine, I’ve had varying relationships with each and I’m happy to report that the state of the A/R industry is good and that we can work together.
When I was in PR, it was cat fight supreme with territorial ism and turf wars. Most of the announcements I did with these companies when in Analyst Relations didn’t have that element. For the most part, the announcements were about standards, not products. So that went a long way towards working together. Still, if you include IBM, the companies I’ve named here aren’t known for being best buddies.
As and aside, I can say that the executives (who can be the source of most problems) all worked towards the cause of the best briefing possible.
Some things are given, like in a certain area (we just did SOA) the analysts know the exec’s by company and the exec’s know each other so I’m happy to report they acted like grown ups.
With the typical name calling (from the CEO’s)and because of t the belief in your own products, the first issue to overcome is that the announcement is usually about a jointly create product or standard, not us vs. them. That rule has to be set down first and if you don’t overcome that, you have no chance at building trust, the basis for working together.
DIVIDE THE DUTIES
One company can’t dominate the duties or or it is not a joint announcement. This also forces the companies to work together to approve what the others have created as their part of the announcement. There are analyst lists, invitations, charts, follow up issues and any number of duties that need to be attended to and dived up. Once that is done, you must rely on each other and the level of trust inherently rises.
It’s important that the analyst see this as equal amongst the companies. One company presenting more than another is a dead give away. You can’t help Q and A as the analysts will direct the question directly to a company.
You either put your differences aside and work together, or you’ll never get anything done. It’s tough to do when your day job is to hammer the company that you are working with other than on the announcement. These are the days of co-opetition though. You learn to get along or you’ll never make it to announcement day.
A foreign language teacher was explaining to her class that, unlike their English counterparts, French nouns are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.
Things like ‘chalk’ or ‘pencil,’ she described, would have a gender association although in English these words were neutral. Confused, one student raised his hand and asked, “What gender is a computer?”
The French teacher wasn’t sure which gender it was, so she divided the class into two groups and asked them to decide if a computer should be masculine or feminine. One group consisted of the women in the class, and the other of men. Both groups were asked to give four reasons for their recommendation.
The group of women concluded that computers should be referred to in masculine gender because: 1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on. 2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless. 3. They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they ARE the problem. 4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.
The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be referred to in the feminine gender because: 1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic. 2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else. 3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval. 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your pay check on accessories.