Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Unabridged Walk-In Application

In my last post, I described a workplace problem that is endemic to Sand Land: job hunters roaming door-to-door pestering employers to interview/hire them on the spot. Over the past few days, I've received numerous emails asking for a copy of the application that I use to scare away these walk-in job hunters.

The text of my walk-in application is pasted below. After adding copious spaces for the applicant's responses, the formatted version of the application is 13 double-sided pages. Remember, the whole point of this application is to look huge, scary and time-consuming - a magical combination that causes at least 95% of walk-in job hunters to hastily beat cheeks out of my office. The few who do stick around to fill it out usually give up mid-way through. To date, only "Mr. Mechatronist," the subject of my last post, has gone the distance.

For those of you who have the misfortune of dealing with walk-ins, I hope this helps get them out of your hair. For those of you who don't have to deal with walk-ins, the application will probably not make for very interesting reading as it is simply a mixed bag of random and, at times, nonsensical questions.

The Official Misadventures in HR Walk-In Application

First Name:
Middle Name:
Last Name:
Email address:
Mobile number:
Mailing address:
House address:
Landline number:
Fax number:
License plate number:
Driver’s license number:
Date of Birth:
Passport Number:
High School
Did you complete high school?    
High school graduation date:
Vocational/Professional Training: (please list each training program separately)

Course Title
Course Description
School Name            
Dates Attended
Did you graduate?

University: (please list each training program separately)

University Name
Name of Degree Program
Subjects Studied
Dates Attended
Did you graduate?

Post-Graduate Education: (please list each training program separately)

University Name
Name of Degree Program
Subjects Studied
Dates Attended
Did you graduate?

Work Experience: (please list most recent job first)

Job Title
Starting & Ending Dates

Computer Applications:

Rate your skill level from 1 to 5 (1 = basic knowledge, 5 = expert)
How many years have you worked with this program?

How many words can you type per minute type?
Which models of photocopy machines have you worked with?
Which models of printer/scanners have you worked with?
Which models of fax machines have you worked with?
Why do you want to work for this company?
What does this company do?
What are the top three reasons this company should hire you?
List all of the great things that will happen to this company if we hire you:
What are your hobbies?
Spouse’s Name:
Spouse’s date of birth:
Spouse’s occupation:
Spouse’s hobbies:
How many children do you have:
Please list the full names of all your children:
Father’s Name:
Father’s date of birth:
Father’s occupation:
Father’s hobbies:
Mother’s Name:
Mother’s date of birth:
Mother’s occupation:
Mother’s hobbies:
Number of brothers:
Number of sisters:
Please list the full names of all your brothers:
Please list the full names of all your sisters:
How many pets do you have?
Please list the names of all your pets:
Please list the species of all your pets as well as their dates of birth:
What did you eat for breakfast today?
What is the meaning of life?
What is your favorite cuisine? Explain what you like best about this cuisine.
Why did Humpty Dumpty sit on that wall?
What is your favorite type of music?
As a child did you have any imaginary friends? If so, please list their names, genders and approximate ages:
What is the formula for the quadratic equation?
How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?
What is your favorite color and what do you believe this reveals about your true nature?
What is your favorite shade of your favorite color?
Solve the following equation:  5(-3x - 2) - (x - 3) = -4(4x + 5) + 13
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? (specify answer in kilograms)
What element are you ruled by: earth, wind, water or fire? Explain what this reveals about you.
What was Paraguay’s 2007 per capita GDP?
If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around to hear it, do you think it still makes a sound? Why?
New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox? How come?
Have you realized your personal truth? If so, what is it?
What is your astrological sign?
Approximately how often is your astrological horoscope correct?
Solve the following equation: |x - 2| - 4|-6|
Whose version of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” was better – Bob Dylan or Guns n’ Roses?
What is your favorite movie?
How does the presence of “heteroskedasticity”  and/or “autocorrelation” impair the validity of a statistical equation?  
What Roman general conquered Gaul in the First Century BC?
From memory, write out the lyrics to Led Zepplin's "Stairway to Heaven."
Which actor portrayed James Bond most to your liking?
What is the difference between the product of carbon-12 reacted with chlorine and carbon-14 reacted with chlorine?
Rolling Stones or Beetles? Why?
Which general succeeded Alexander the Great in Thrace?
If given the choice, would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf? Please give at least three reasons for your choice (use complete sentences).
What is the x-intercept of the following equation? 2x - 4y = 9
If you’re driving at night faster than the speed of light and you turn on your headlights, will they work?
How far east can you go before you’re heading west?
When did the last emperor of China ascend the throne?
When does the weather stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny?
Explain how it’s possible for something to be both “new” and “improved”?      
List all of the countries you have visited in your life:
Do prison buses have emergency exits?
If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would you choose? Why?
In a movie theater, which armrest is yours?
In 1945, an Allied conference decided the partition of Germany in four occupation zones. Where was that conference held?
What is it about lead paint that small children find so delicious?
Is it possible to look into someone’s eyes and see their soul? Why or why not?
What was the most populous tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy?
What is the deal with "blue raspberry" flavoring seeing that there's no such thing as a blue raspberry?
If a genie granted you three wishes, what would you wish for?
Explain the concept of the “efficient frontier” in investment planning?
Who killed JR?
Who founded the Mughal dynasty?
What is your favorite holiday?
What does it mean to “find yourself”? Have you found yourself yet?
What is the difference between the mind resting in tranquility and the mind moving in thought?
How does soap clean?
171 gm of cane sugar is dissolved in 1litre of water. What’s the molarity of solution?
If you could be reincarnated as any animal besides a human, what would you choose to be? Why?
If the professor on Giligan's Island could make a radio out of coconut, why couldn’t he fix a hole in a boat?

With respect to commodities futures, explain the meaning of the terms “backwardation” and “contango”?

How has the increase in commodities speculation influenced the prevalence of futures that are in “backwardation” versus “contango”?

Do you believe in miracles? Why?

What is the population of Shanghai, China?

Summarize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in no fewer than 5 sentences:
Cake or pie?
In a fight to the death, who would win – a saltwater crocodile or a great white shark? Describe what such a fight would look like and how your pick would gain the upper hand.
How many times did you roll your eyes during the movie Eat, Pray, Love?
List all of the organic elements on the periodic table:
Do you see a glass as half full or half empty? Why?
List all of the planets in the solar system - starting with the planet closest to the sun and ending with the planet that is farthest away.
The ancient city of Antioch lay within the boundaries of what modern country?
What is the highest level you ever attained while playing Super Mario Brothers
What is the longest river in the world?
Explain why you agree or disagree with the premise of the Laffer curve?
Describe the perfect pizza:
Are there more grains of sand on the beach than there are stars in the universe?
What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Which is superior: white chocolate, milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
What happens when you wish upon a star?
Explain how it's possible for bull sharks to live in freshwater rivers.
What would the perfect day be like for you?
Where do you think socks that get lost in the laundry go?
How much time did you spend filling out this application?


  1. This is genius!

    P.S. There must be something wrong with me.I read the whole application form, went through the equations, googled Paraguay's GDP and the successor of Alexander the Great, was pleased to be able to answer the other general knowledge questions, hummed Stairway to Heaven, pondered on the sound of one hand clapping...and I am not even looking for a job!

  2. Did you get "lost" in wikipedia when compiling this?

  3. I applied for a job as a Mac Operator for the Press Association's sports department in the UK once. Got as far as the interview and they handed me a questionnaire - at which point, I realised that I knew bugger all about horse racing. I therefore see why this would indeed put off walk-ins. There's nothing more humiliating than having to put "I don't know" on a form when you're trying to impress prospective employers.

    Meaning of life? That one's easy: 42.

  4. Brilliant, I love this blog. Also a western expat dealing with HR issues in Sand Land this keeps me going when a need a chuckle!

  5. My mouse-wheel just came off.