Some questions

Written on 9 April 2015, 07:48pm

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The 3 questions interviewers ask

Can you do the job?
Will you do the job?
Can you work with the others?

Apparently all the interview questions gravitate around these 3 questions.

The five WHYs

Two stories about how many times you must ask ‘why’ before you find the root cause of a problem:

Q: “Why did you submit a purchase requisition for $750?”
A: “Because we need to purchase 150 staplers!”
Q: “Why do you need to purchase 150 staplers?”
A: “Because our agents need to staple the pages of the driver’s license application together.”
Q: “Why do they need to staple those pages together?”
A: Because […]

In the late 1980s, the parks service in the United States were concerned about the deterioration of the stonework on the Lincoln Memorial. So they asked the maintenance staff why the stone was decaying.

The crew needed to spray to get rid of the large volume of bird droppings. So they erected bird nets. These scarcely worked, and were unpopular with tourists, so the parks service called in the maintenance workers again and asked, ‘Why are there so many birds?’

‘The birds come to feed on the spiders,’ they said. ‘And the spiders are there to eat the midges.’ After dark, midges covered the memorial. The spiders came to eat the midges, and the birds came to eat the spiders. So the executives tried insecticides. But this also proved ineffective: the bugs came back. So the committee finally asked one more question. Why are there so many midges in the first place?
[…]
It is a wonderful story, and has entered folklore in a philosophy called ‘the five whys’. The idea is that you should always go on asking ‘why’ in order to get to the root cause of a problem rather than the proximate cause. If you do this, what at first appears to be a masonry problem may turn out to be a problem about lighting design and insect behaviour.
Why plane crashes are getting weirder

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