I’ve been on Twitter for a couple of years now, first as @SauropodMike and more recently as @MikeTaylor. I have to admit, it’s hugely surpassed my expectations. I thought it was a medium for the trivial, but instead I’ve found a wealth of pithy observations, witty asides and links to all sorts of fascinating longer reads.
So now I’m leaving it.
Since June 2009 I’ve been using Gmail for my email, and I have to admit it’s been great. Really convenient, excellent searching facilities, available from anywhere. In terms of ease of use it’s a huge step forward from my old approach, using GNU Emacs’s “vm” package and manually syncing mailboxes between my desktop and laptop as necessary.
And so we come to the fifth and final part of this resoundingly unpopular series on interview questions (from here). Oh well: I’ve enjoyed writing it, even if no-one’s enjoyed reading it! [part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4]. That that’s the point of a blog, really, isn’t it?
Off we go, for the last time …
21. “Who is your biggest hero?” – Asked at De La Rue.
… Ploughing on through those 25 interview questions. Why am I doing this? In a comment on the last post, jwerpy correctly noted that “Not a single one of these questions provides any insight into [...] why hiring you will improve the company and make it more successful”. But that’s only one application of such questions, and not the one that interests me. I think of them more as mental stretching exercises, and as ways of finding out what I think by seeing what I say (as E. M. Forster had it).
See also part 1, part 2 and part 3.
16. “What do you mean by ‘leadership’?” – Asked at Moody’s.
No-one really seems to care about this series (seven comments on part 1, none at all on part 2) but I’m finding them a pleasant diversion so I am ploughing on anyway. Original questions from here.
11. “What have you done in the past to get out of a tricky situation?” – Asked at Virgin Atlantic Airways.
“The best defence against an atomic bomb is to not be there when it goes off” — attributed to the British Army Journal.
Here are the next five of those 25 tough interview questions that I mentioned last time. With my answers. Again, I encourage you to add your own.
6. “If you were the Head of Barclays Corporate what would your strategy be with the recent European Crisis?” – Asked at Barclays.
Oh dear, this is miserable beginning I know nothing about finance and next to nothing about economics.
I stumbled across this blog post listing 25 tough interview questions that people have been asked, and thought it might be rather jolly to attempt some answers. I’ve not read the questions before embarking on this process, so I have no idea whether they’ll be interesting or not, but I feel the need for some light relief after recent work.
I’ll take them in batches of five. Here are the first five:
1. “If you were to win £1 million what would you do with the money?” – Asked at PwC.
My bat-sons and I are very fond of the 1966 bat-film Batman: the Movie (though my bat-wife is not so keen). One of the distinctive bat-features of this bat-film is of course Batman’s tendency to precede bat-nouns with the bat-prefix “bat-”. My new bat-plan is to adopt this verbal bat-tic in my own bat-speech, but using it before every bat-noun.
Following the death of Margaret Thatcher, I am seeing a lot of comments like this one from David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham. I find them baffling. At the risk of Godwin’s wrath, let’s try an experimental rewording:
Regardless of whether you agreed or disagreed with his analysis, he certainly stood up for what he believed in – he certainly got something done. He had guts and conviction – qualities which are much needed today.
Nobody needs to tell me how divisive his politics were on the ground. Poland in 1939 was often not a fun place to be. Yet nobody can deny that he had a vision, as well as the strength and courage to see that vision become a reality. Those qualities are to be admired, regardless of the disagreements we may rightly have with the effects of his policies on the people we stand up for.
Am I saying that Margaret Thatcher was as bad as Hitler? No I am not. But I fail to see how the appalling destruction brought about by her policies is to be overlooked because she stuck to her guns. And if we are going to give her a free pass for that reason, it seems only fair to do the same for Hitler.
Update (three hours layer)
As usual, Andrew Rilstone has said it better (and more briefly) than me:
Like most people I get a bit of spam in my email, even after GMail’s mostly-excellent filter has done its work. Most of these are at least polite enough to have an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, and they pretty much always work.
Centric Events, on the other hand, keep sending my their rubbish. They shtick is to sell lunches with sporting celebrities at £2000+VAT per table. I have no idea what made them ever think that I would be interested in doing such a thing. But I do know that there is no “unsubscribe” link in their emails, and that they have ignored at least one email asking them to stop spamming me.
So I am pretty sure that what they are doing is illegal, and I know it’s immoral. Dear Centric: STOP IT.