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I would like to say that nothing in the sometimes strange world of career advice can surprise me, but then I would have to deny how often I am surprised. The most recent surprise was a pair of articles appearing just days apart. The first prompted a very strong “What the heck?" response. However, then it was elevated even beyond that by a second article. Combined, they should provoke some serious thinking on the part of interviewers and force organizations to take a serious look making sure recruiters and hiring managers are properly trained. The first article proposed that asking a candidate “Did you make your bed this morning?" is a good way of identifying people who “want to change the world." The article suggested that making your bed shows: 1) It helps you start the day off right; 2) Happy people make their beds; 3) You'll sleep better; 4) It helps establish good habits; 5) It can reduce stress; and 6) It just feels good. The article references studies that claim people who make their beds are happier (71%) than those who don't (38%) and that making your bed is correlated to greater productivity. Unfortunately just a few days later, several articles highlighted that making your bed is not only unnecessary, but it is also healthier. A web search reveals several articles published over the last few years that point out that an unmade bed cuts down on the moisture and that the dryer condition helps prevent dust mites and bed bugs. For several days this “making the bed" as an interview question bothered me. Happier and more productive versus healthier? Moreover, then it got even more confusing. A very popular country music star tweeted: “Good Morning! The last one out of bed makes it – that's me today!" So I realized that a person may not make their bed because someone else does: a spouse, a partner, or a housekeeper! I have written before about bad interview questions. It appears there will be a never ending supply of additional examples for some continued stories. Interviewers ask some of these questions because they think they are clever, or they somehow think that the answers provide deep insights into the quality of a candidate. They claim a “magic bullet" that works perfectly for them. The problem is that the relevancy of these questions is doubtful at best – and fairness and legality might even be questioned. My concern over these types of questions elevated to still another level when a friend reported to me about a video screening interview she'd just completed. The 8-minute recorded interview featured three questions, the second and third of which were relevant and appropriate. The first question however, was not in the same category as “did you make your bed?" but it seems to raise some of the same questions. The opening question was “What's your favorite hobby?"

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