In my country, it is common culture for HR to be insulting. They will ask illegal questions. They will make you jump through hoops, not to prove your skill, but to prove you really want the job.

The reason is because they get hundreds, if not thousands of applications, but the majority of those applications are seriously unqualified. However, this makes them arrogant. They claim this arrogance as a way to filter out resume spammers.

I know the company itself is quite good. And I know the HR are actually nice people. They were somehow trained to be arrogant, simply because "bigger companies are like that."

One of my pet peeves are interviews that ask completely irrelevant questions like "If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?" and an hour long exam with pointless questions like "Translate this long binary number into decimal."

I'm fully qualified for the job, and it's simply a screening interview to see that I'm not crazy. But dumb and illegal questions tend to trigger me into looking mean and crazy.

closed as off-topic by Philip Kendall, gnat, The Wandering Dev Manager, paparazzo, mhoran_psprep Jan 18 '16 at 11:50

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  • 8
    As a curiosity: what country are we talking about ? – Radu Murzea Jan 18 '16 at 7:58
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    Don't get me wrong, but how can YOU know that you are fully qualified for the job? This sounds kinda arrogant aswell. And the seconds thing: What profession are we talking about? If we are talking about computerscience field, the test task "Translate this 'long' binary number into decimal." is much, but for sure not pointless(except the wording by itself could be phrased in a way of not disvaluing itself). – Zaibis Jan 18 '16 at 8:48
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    @HorusKol In the country that I work it's illegal to ask questions related to family planning like "Do you plan on having children any time soon?", because they could figure out if you're planning on maternity leave in the near future. – Alex Jan 18 '16 at 9:50
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    "dumb and illegal questions tend to trigger me into looking mean and crazy." then the HR people are doing their jobs right. If you get hired, you will sometimes have to work with clients or colleagues who ask dumb or even illegal questions - if you can't act professional then, you're not fully qualified for the job... – nikie Jan 18 '16 at 10:59
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    The stance in interviews also varies a lot for the seniority and importance of the position. I was once interviews for a crops of the tops elite Amazon team and they were extra-extra nice all the way long, multiple people in multiple interviews (5 of them)...was also interview for Amazon in another time and another country, some headhunter directed me to an interview that I found out at the last minute was for Helpdesk, and that could not work out of it at the last minute, and the interview was a shitty one. – Rui F Ribeiro Jan 19 '16 at 9:41

There is only one way to deal with this situation:

Be the professional!

If you have to jump through the hoops to get the job, jump through the hoops. Prove that you are indeed highly qualified and the best candidate for the job. It doesn't matter if you dislike HR, that's entirely irrelevant. If they are the gatekeeper, then do the tasks you are set to the best of your ability or you will find yourself being rejected before you start.

As you say, this is a cultural issue for you. You can't change it, especially from the outside. Maintain a high level of professionalism, transcend any negative feelings you have and you can pass through this initial process to get into the more relevant aspects of your application process.

  • 4
    I'd disagree. There's another way: not applying to places with hostile interviewing atmosphere or shady practices. While initial screening interviews rarely, if ever, are perfect, being asked illegal or inappropriate questions would indicate some other, larger issue within the company. There's also another aspect to it. As it stands currently, it's the developers who are in shortage, not companies hiring developers. The first step to changing such practices is to stop putting up with them in the first place. This is not to say you're wrong, but it's certainly not the only way. – Maciej Gurban Jan 18 '16 at 9:25
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    @MaciejGurban According to the OP: In my country, it is common culture for HR to be insulting. It sound systemic where they are. – Jane S Jan 18 '16 at 9:27
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    While you're right that being unemployed rids the person of a significant leverage, we don't know whether this is OP's situation. I wouldn't go as far as to say that hundreds or thousands of applicants means there isn't a shortage of experienced developers. – Maciej Gurban Jan 18 '16 at 9:52
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    If all HR behaves like that, then you have no choice : bury your ego and be professional as advised by Jane S. If only some of them behave like that, and others are much more appealing to professionals, OTOH, Maciej Gurban has a point : the latter firms are going to be much more healthy in financial terms, and likely to offer more career development paths due to their success. – gazzz0x2z Jan 18 '16 at 10:31
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    unfortunately in places with high unemployment and/or a huge pool of people applying for the jobs you just have to suck it in and jump through the hoops smiling. – Kilisi Jan 18 '16 at 18:27

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