Today's post is about my favorite reverse interview question. By "reverse interview", I mean that time period at the end of an interview when the tables are turned, and the interviewer becomes the interviewee.
I've been to dozens and dozens of interviews, on both sides of the table, and typically reverse interview questions are fairly generic. "What's a typical workday like?", "How would you describe the culture here?", etc, etc...
Generic questions, of course, get generic answers, and I was looking for something more insightful that wasn't going to get me a bland response.
So my new favorite reverse interview question is:
"How's your meme game?"
This totally catches interviewers (the reverse interviewee) off guard, and the responses say a lot about the company. It answers questions about their sense of humor, company culture, office banter, and day to day working environment.
Here are some sample responses along with my analysis.
- "Huh?" - The interviewer didn't know what a meme was, until I referenced funny pictures of cats on the internet. He said, "Oh, I know what you mean. We had an internal feedback survey that suggested we should have a chat channel in Slack, and sometimes people post pictures of their weekend." Eeek. This team doesn't know what fun is.
- "<laughs> I don't meme much, but the team is hilarious." - The interviewer was in his 50's or 60's, but I'm glad he knows what a meme is and has a sense of levity. Also, that his team has fun.
- "<laughs> I'm glad you asked. I met my wife on Hinged and her profile said 'I like memes'" He went on to tell me that they play a game where they send each other pictures over chat in the middle of meetings with the explicit goal of getting someone to crack and laugh out loud. This team had a work hard, play hard sort of vibe.
- "I don't meme much, but someone started a slack channel for crossword puzzles." - Ummm... I don't know where to start on this one. I like crossword puzzles too, but the entire office had a rather dull vibe, with low energy.
- "Ha ha. I'm not much of a meme-er, but our company quarterly financial review had an eagle with fireworks coming out of it's butt."
Good luck interviewing!
aka THE Awkward Engineer
p.s. one of the original memes, circa 2007