Monday, December 13, 2004

Stupid questions

This afternoon I went to the Barton Centre. (That's a commercial complex housing shops and offices on M G Road in Bangalore.)

As I was coming down the lift from the seventh floor, I overheard this conversation between two young women who were standing beside me.
"What questions they asked ...?" 

"I can understand if they had asked something on customer care, how to take care of the customers' questions ..." 

"... or even regarding the bank ... I would have got full marks..." 

"What was that ... that footballer who died on the field ..."

"Who will know ...." 

"Why should they ask all these questions ..." 

"Yea ... that Indian woman who went to space and died before coming back to earth ..."

"Really stupid questions..." 
By then the lift reached the ground floor. Obviously, they had attended an interview or a test for call centre executives for a bank.

It looks like they didn't make it.

Whether call centre executives should have good general knowledge is a different question!

The footballer who died was 25-year-old Brazilian striker Cristiano Junior. The tragic incident happened a few days ago, on Dec 5, during the final of the Federation Cup football championship in Bangalore.

The woman astronaut they were referring to was not an Indian citizen, but a US citizen of Indian origin. She was Kalpana Chawla. She was one among the seven onboard Space Shuttle Columbia when it disintegrated while re-entering earth's atmosphere in February last year.

12 comments:

  1. May be they need only that kind of "stupid" people for the job in these places???

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  2. Hari OM
    LOL - some of the best moments in life are eavesdropped convos like this!!! (I enjoyed same on buses - when I rode those in the dim and distant BC19 times...)

    Admittedly, one does wonder at the questions for a call-centre job, where everything anyway is scripted!!! YAM xx

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    Replies
    1. Hi Yamini - Yes! It's strange such questions. They should ask domain-specific questions!

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    2. Quite right. One of my sons said that everything was scripted. I have no actual knowledge, neither did he but it seemed to be so because of the answers we all got being the same. But it seems like it as in the bygone days when occasionally I called a center...when I had a PC...no matter what I said or how I tried to describe the problem, the answers were many times off base and sometimes would create a useless and bad situation. Listen to the customer. Don't read from a script...and don't make someone completely wipe out everything on the computer and start over. I never did...and I went back to APPLE.

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    3. Hi Katie - You are absolutely right. It is such a put-off. And these are actual human beings.

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  3. Conducting an interview calls for special skill to find out about the suitability of candidates for the unique requirements of the job. Most ask irrelevant questions only to embarrass the candidate like how many runs did Sachin make in his first test!

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    1. Hi KP - It sort of demoralises candidates too.

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  4. I think they knew that most candidates wouldn't know answers to such questions. Probably they wanted to see how they handled such questions, to get a sense of how they would handle customers when they don't know the answers?

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Hi Rajesh - Yes, I guess, it is one way to disqualify candidates and reduce the number of contenders for the post.

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  5. These stupid questions are asked in a few companies. Since you over-heard long time ago, hope the companies have changed. What is the relevance to the job they applied. Once a friend told me that he was asked how many steps you climbed to enter their office.

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  6. That is strange. In fact, I hope the did get jobs there despite this. :)

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  7. Hi Pradeep - very odd questions ... I really don't blame their responses. Some of our citizenship questions are a bit odd too - but I'm there's a few mock sites, where one could learn the answers fairly easily ... and good guess work. Cheers Hilary

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