Application Questions Explained, Part V

Final part of multiple choice section.  A few more chances for applicants to reconsider earlier responses.

Kofi Annan is:
a) Select grade coffee bean found along Owa Tagu Siam river, used by locals for medicinal purposes
b) Some black dude with cool name.
c) Some white rapper whose real name is George Smith

Most picked B.  All who picked A also picked “I’m not lazy” and “I’m good at researching facts.”  One who picked A wrote about her time at Kona, Hawaii, where she learned “all there is to know about coffee.”  Those who picked A were the most arrogant applicants.  Nobody picked C.

Why are you not special?
a) I am special. My mom thinks I’m special.
b) I haven’t done anything extraordinary.
c) Everyone is special. We’re all unique.

Most picked A.  Second most popular pick was C.  Decent number picked B. We’re concerned about the inflated self-esteem of those who pick A, likely self-absorbed and difficult to manage.  Those who pick C are probably nice and caring, not particularly competitive.  Those who pick B probably have either competed at a high level or have been exposed to high level competition.  Also more likely to have a more realistic sense of self in relation to others.  Less provincial too, so understands competition in international, not local, terms.

Paul Ryan
a) Looks like Anthony Wiener
b) Is a renown health food guru with his own TV show
c) Is a dickhead.

Question assesses one’s familiarity with national events and political leanings and biases.  A few picked A (what I would’ve picked).  Most picked C.  Nobody picked B.

Are you good at researching facts?
a) Yes
b) No
c) Don’t know, you tell me.

Most picked A, even though most proved to be poor to adequate at researching facts.  A few picked C.  Nobody picked B.

Why are you so smart?
a)I’m not smart, only stupid people think they’re smart
b)I’ve always worked hard and set the highest standards for myself. I took the most challenging courses and tasks and wouldn’t accept anything less than an “A” at school and at work.
c) I’m naturally smart, it’s God given.

A few picked A.  A Cornell University study showed that the incompetent tend to not realize that they’re incompetent, while those who are most competent tend to not realize how good they are until they’re exposed to the incompetency of larger population.  One becomes “smart” by realizing how ignorant, or “stupid” one is.  Stupid people think they already know it all, so they don’t ask questions and challenge their own assumptions.

B was the second most popular choice. Everyone who picked B also chose to congratulate child for getting a “B.”  Which makes no sense.  Anyway, most picked C, which confused me.  I’m not sure how to read it.  We tell employees that talent isn’t natural, it’s the result of effort. I’m concerned that those who think they’re “naturally smart” will have poorly developed work ethic and will become bitter about not being given a chance to show off imagined “brilliance.”

Open ended questions explained in final part of series.

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