/ Random job application questions!

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Dominicandave on 10 Apr 2012
I don't know if this is normal in the UK, to just ask random questions of someone, or it's a one off but,,, the mind goes blank,,,

1- [PLEASE INCLUDE AS MANY DETAILS AS POSSIBLE] You're the customer support of a telephone company. You must inform one of your clients that he will have his phone line canceled due to a technical problem in his line. Write an example email to the customer explaining this:

2- [PLEASE INCLUDE AS MANY DETAILS AS POSSIBLE] You work in a car agency. A client is interested in a 2011 LEXUS GS 350, but this car is not in your inventory. You want to convince her to buy a 2011 ACURA TL 3.5. Please view the following comparison: 2011 Lexus GS 350 vs. 2011 Acura TL . Please write an example email of how you would convince the client to buy the ACURA car given the comparison page:
What Goes Up - on 10 Apr 2012
In reply to Dominicandave: Haven't seen it at application stage before but where I've recruited in the past we've often done a small test as part of the interview based on some sort of scenario. For us it was a chance to get some sort of feel for whether they knew the sector at all but we weren't looking for perfect answers or amazing insights - more that they could string a sentence together, were able to understand the brief / generally grasp the point of something (this is often interesting - amazing how many people go off n a tangent and focus on what they want to tell you rather than what you have actually asked them - it's a comfort zone thing I guess) and were generally logical and sensible people. It's actually quite effective - we've had a few people who seemed pretty good in an interview but when it came to writing something they were absolutely hopeless, and if the job involved a lot of writing to clients then they're not going to get any further. Questions above seem pretty straightforward, so just give a sensible and well presented answer.

I'm assuming that the application is for some sort of office / call centre customer service role. Agree that it's a bit random if you're applying for a position as a welder, panda fluffer etc.
EeeByGum - on 10 Apr 2012
In reply to Dominicandave: Seems reasonable to me. I was asked to write a support email in the interview for my current job since there is some support involved. It is basically a test to see that you have basic letter writing skills, are polite and able to sway the customer into doing what you want them to do and not the other way round.

One tip - end your emails using "Kind regards". It sort of works!
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StuDoig - on 10 Apr 2012
In reply to Dominicandave:
Practical questions aren't that unusual in my experience- two I've had were
point out the carb. on a diesel engine schematic. (trick queastion)

For a role on a decomissioning project, they pulled up some rig schematics and asked me to talk them through some of the issues I could see with decommissioning the structure.

I think that they are just an effective way of weeding out folk that interview well but don't "walk the walk" as well as giving a better chance to good candidates with perhaps poor interview skills, but good technical knowledge and know how.

I did also have one interview where they kept asking random maths questions throught to see what my mental arithmatic was like, very effective at throwing you off ballance and putting you under a bit of pressure I suppose!

Cheers,

Stuart

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