Foul Ball: How One Interview Question Can Lose You the Job

Posted April 13, 2012 by

There are many questions people prepare for during a job interview such as “What kind of projects are you working on in your current job?” “What measurable skills can you bring to this position?” and “What is your greatest weakness?”


So when you come across this next question, you might be inclined to brush it off:


“What is my favorite baseball team?”


Surprisingly, this question could end up being the most important one you answer. Let me explain.


For five years, I was the online marketing director at in New York City. As my responsibilities expanded, I got the chance to bring on an intern to help me out. As an award-winning publication covering technology, business and culture, the chance to work at Wired was a dream job for any young professional looking to gain experience in social media, marketing, and tech culture. It went without saying that competition would be fierce.


I decided to have fun with the job posting, matching it to my personality by mixing in desired skills with a sense of humor. Because I wanted a rock star assistant and the job covered so many areas, I asked for the world. I wanted a tech geek. A marketing copywriter. A designer. And someone extremely detail-oriented. The massive, 800-word post contained phrases such as:


“You are an Excel geek, and may or may not have used it to plan a vacation, build a fantasy football cheat sheet, or compare potential prom dates. With color-coded shading. And reversed text. On multiple tabs. You’re the type of person who picks out typos on dinner menus. For fun. Your technical knowledge intimidates the staff at Best Buy.”


At the end of the post, I gave very specific directions. The reason why I ask this is in parentheses.  Continue reading . . .


Article by Jim Hopkinson and courtesy of

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Posted in Advice for Employers and Recruiters, Career Advice for Job Seekers | Tagged Tagged , ,