Next Question: In Your Opinion, Why Would A Woodchuck Be ‘Chucking’ Wood In The First Place?

March 4, 2012


Today, my friends, we take the Weekly Question of the Week up a notch.  Call it Phase Two.  Exciting, right?  Darn right.  Just wait until Phase Three.  It involves lasers.

Here’s the new dealio:

  1. I’ll give you a question, or scenario, or maybe even sometimes a visual prompt.
  2. You provide an answer.  You may answer as many times as you like.

    Anyone else remember Turtle Wax? From game shows? Anyone? No? Oh. Well, you still don't win it.

  3. Then, I’ll put my personal faves to a vote for the best response.
  4. The winner of that will get a HUGE PRIZE!!  By which I mean he or she will be my featured blogger for the week!  Also he or she will receive a lifetime supply of Turtle wax!  But not really.

Oh, it’s going to be ever so much fun, isn’t it?  Being a featured blogger on The Byronic Man would be, as Peter Pan said, an “awfully big adventure!”

No, wait, that was death.  Um, you know what?  Scratch that last part.

It’ll be fun, is my point.  And fun, as we all know my friends, is fun.


So, we’ve all been to job interviews; we’ve all endured awful questions.  A friend of mine had an interview this week in which she was asked “How many barbers would it take to cut every man in Chicago’s hair?”  And it wasn’t a rhetorical riddle, along the lines of “How much wood could a woochuck chuck?”.  The point is, you never know what’s coming.

Maybe it’s a question about clothing, or past experience.  Maybe it’s about how “comfortable” we are with certain conditions.  Regardless, we smile and answer in a way that’s perky, confident, and a bald-faced lie.

But what would it take to crack through that armor?  For your Weekly Question of the Week this week, What’s the worst question you could be asked at a job interview?

Next question, and please answer honestly. How are you working with extremely toxic materials? Also, do you know any good barbers in Chicago?

photo credits:

  1. “Turtle Wax,” by Lisa Bardot, Flickr, 2007
  2. “Uniformed Man At Desk,” by University of Idaho Digital Initiatives, Flickr, 2011

About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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66 Comments on “Next Question: In Your Opinion, Why Would A Woodchuck Be ‘Chucking’ Wood In The First Place?”

  1. susielindau Says:

    Are you willing to work nights, weekends, and holidays including Christmas?
    The deal breaker would be St. Patty’s Day.

    I love prizes especially huge ones…I will keep my fingers crossed.


  2. Edward Hotspur Says:

    That question about the barbers is designed to see if you think outside the box. Someone average might come up with a number like ’50’. Someone clever but still inside the box might say ‘2. One to cut the hair of every other man in Chicago, and one to cut the first barber’s hair.’ The best answer would be ‘1’, because the barber could be a woman.

    The worst question would be something like ‘what would you do if you found out your boss was fooling around with one of your coworkers?’ Assuming your boss is the one interviewing you, this could be one of the most uncomfortable questions, because you don’t know if you’re being asked literally what you would do (because it’s happening), or if you’re being judged on your character.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      After watching her reaction, they actually then clarified that what they wanted to know was how would she go about making that calculation. But they intentionally phrased it that way to see her response. Nice.


  3. She speaks.... Says:

    Fun questions:

    “What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?”
    “Damn, have you been eating beans and rice lately?”
    “I’m conducting a field test of how many women have pierced nipples. May I include you in the test?”

    Serious questions:

    “Why hasn’t anyone hired you yet?”
    “Describe a situation in which you had to work with a difficult person.”
    “Do you ever abuse alcohol or drugs?”
    “What do you consider your greatest weakness?”


  4. Clip Snark Says:

    “How much do you really value your right arm?”


  5. madtante Says:

    a) If you go asking me questions about barbers and men’s hair, I’m going to have to ask, “Are we talking shaving heads, Pompadours, crewcuts, “Just a little off the top and sides,” mullets, what? How dare they oversimplify such a question. Obviously haircare professionals are Awesome but even they need extra time if they’re “washing and waxing” or detailing. Pfft.

    b) Where were we?

    c) I’ve worked at the same place shy of 16 years. I don’t recall; although before I got a gig at a record store in the 80s, I was given a several page test that asked questions like, “What’s track 3 on side B of Coda” Luckily, I knew that shite…then. I also had to take a test to work at FING WALMART (it was a Psych test) and they never rang back. I’m not joking.


    • madtante Says:

      …Oh. And I have never lied in an interview. Of course, you fake a perkier side of things like being laid off from a job when you were putting your self through school but I don’t lie.

      I didn’t know that was the problem. How can I start learning now at age 40?


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’ve read about those Wal-Mart psyche tests. They’re designed to gauge submissiveness to authority. Frightening.

      And “Bonzo’s Montreux.”

      Okay, I looked it up.


  6. pouringmyartout Says:

    If a chicken and a half lays an egg and a half in a day and a half, then how many monkeys with a wooden leg does it take to kick the teeth down the throat of a dill pickle?


  7. BrainRants Says:

    I like the questions with no good answer:

    “Do you still beat your wife?”

    “Have you stopped abusing recreational drugs?”


  8. 1pointperspective Says:

    “Do you have any idea how annoying you are?”

    It’s a horrible question because there’s no right answer, and because the more involved your answer is, the more you have admitted that you’re annoying. The shorter your answer is, the more clueless you appear to be as to how annoying you are.

    On a related topic, do you realize how annoying I am?


  9. 1pointperspective Says:

    As a point of clarification, how much Turtle Wax would one be expected to use in a lifetime? Are we referring to my lifetime or the Turtle’s?


  10. sj Says:

    How do you feel about Yanni?

    Would you be willing to give up four nights a week to join our Bible study?

    Have you read The Most Dangerous Game? (said with a wink)


  11. WSW Says:

    “Do you do windows?”

    The only thing worse than answering the question would be getting the job.


  12. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    “You don’t look Jewish.” Technically not a question but actually said to me on one job interview. Luckily for me, I always carry my sidecurls and tallis in my purse.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I was once helping do interviews where I worked and something on the resume made the other interviewer say, “What are you, Mormon?” The applicant replied, “You can’t ask me that.” He said, “Oh, right.” pause “Well, apparently you’re hired.”


  13. cristycarringtonlewis Says:

    I’ll take a stab at this:

    1) Tampons or pads?

    2) Are you pregnant or just chubby?

    3) Your knees in good shape?

    4) Would you be willing to accept free toothbrushes in lieu of dental benefits?

    5) Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?


  14. cristycarringtonlewis Says:

    Oh, one last one:

    “You didn’t vote for that damn Muslim foreigner, didja?”


  15. tomwisk Says:

    1) Are you prepared to help the concept I’ve explained?
    2) Does your wife/girlfriend like older richer men?
    3) Do you like older richer men?
    4) Are you oldr or richer than me?


  16. cristycarringtonlewis Says:

    “Can you pass me some toilet paper under the stall?”

    “Hypothetically speaking, if I were to call you at, say, 2:30 a.m. one Saturday night and ask you to drive out to a hypothetical motel located on the outskirts of town next to the old Denny’s, and, hypothetically speaking, you were to discover me half-clothed, sobbing and holding a blood-spattered knife with a dead, naked prostitute laying on the bed drenched in a red, sticky substance, would you call the police or would close the door quickly and formulate a plan to help me dispose of the body?”

    “Do you prefer the term Negro or person of African persuasion?”

    “You gotta work yo’ way up to be my bottom bitch. That a problem?”


  17. cristycarringtonlewis Says:

    “Have you ever managed two sets of books before?”


  18. Lenore Diane Says:

    What is your passion?

    I was asked that question. The results were not pretty.


  19. steelbrassiere Says:

    “Tell me about yourself.” It manages to be way too personal and impersonal at the same time.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That’s another one of those questions where the only acceptable answer is a fakey “I’m a positive, can-do, people person!”

      And you’re right, the alternative is way too big and way too personal.


  20. thesinglecell Says:

    “Pretend I’m George Clooney. Would you sleep with me to get this job?”

    Impossible to answer that. Yes? You might actually be committing to pretending he’s George Clooney. No? You don’t get the job. Yes? You’re a hussy and clearly have no principles- leave the office immediately. No? You’re a liar. Yes? You’re an idiot- who says yes to that in an interview? No? You’re too stringent a rule-follower, obviously incapable of thinking outside the box when the greater good clearly benefits everyone involved.

    In reality, I personally really hate “Why do you want this job?” Every interviewer is going to ask it, and no matter what you say, it seems like a lie. The obvious reason is “because I no longer like my current job” or “because I need a job, as I currently have none.” But you can’t say either of those things. For each interview, for each job, you have to come up with a different, personalized answer for why it’s so obvious that absolutely no other job would do for you. I was once told that the ONLY reason I did not get a job at a university is that the other candidate specifically said she wanted to work for that university. My answer had been totally good – they told me that – but she got the job because she just said she wanted to work for that university. Curses!


  21. ghfool Says:

    1) How are you preparing for the Apocalypse?
    2) Why do you choose to remove each victim’s left big toe before burying them alive?
    3) Can you orgasm on command?
    4) How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
    5) Which do you prefer; a) young boys, b) glory holes, or c) farm animals
    6) How many children do you have?
    7) What are your wives names?
    8) Which would you rather do, put your finger in my butt or up my nose?
    9) What is your Facebook password?
    10) Do you have any gum?


  22. Elyse Says:

    “How do you react when you get yelled at?” That question was actually asked of me at an interview. I was offered the job and nearly didn’t take it because of that one question. “Why do I want to work for someone who will yell at me?” I thought. As it turned out, the man had been to an HR seminar and they TOLD him to ask that question of all applicants.

    He is one of the nicest people on the planet. I worked for him for 3 years and he never once yelled at me.


  23. Audrey Says:

    My company asks every potential employee, “What does 11 x 12 equal?” I think only 1/4 of the applicants manage to answer correctly – scary, yes? Can I say on the record that I *think* I got the right answer?


  24. PCC Advantage Says:

    “I’d like to test how long you think is too long to sit in awkward silence with a potential employer…shall we begin?”

    Seriously, wouldn’t you rather answer ANY question rather than sit in silence for 24 minutes?


  25. edrevets Says:

    Which one of my children is the best looking?


  26. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    As part of a training session, I was once asked to list in order of priority things like : Kids, Spouse, Overtime, God, Hobbies, Work, Social Life. I get the idea behind the question; but I told them I felt it was none of their business when they incorporate non-work related items.
    Oh, If I win, it’ll be a cheap deal for you, I don’t own a turtle – just sayin.


  27. gojulesgo Says:

    hahaha oh I’ve missed this blog! (I think I can finally get back to “normal” later this week, yayyyy!) Wait, does that count as your favorite answer already?

    Okay. So. During my last interview I was asked, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” and that’s a g.d. trick question, because obviously the answer is ALWAYS, “I wouldn’t be friggin’ here right now, that’s for shizzle!!!”

    Also bad? Being asked about your previous boss, who recently passed away, and then crying. Another true story.

    Oh and lastly, being asked to do long-hand math. OMG. Another true story!


  28. cassiebehle Says:

    Are you willing to chip in for Taco Tuesdays at the office?


  29. benzeknees Says:

    Have you EVER been terminated or disciplined at a previous position? This one sucks if you’ve worked for any length of time because you’re always going to run into someone who you can’t get along with.
    Second to that – why did you leave your last position? You don’t want to sound like a boss basher even if the idiot you worked for was a toral moron, so you have to give the PC answer which is a lie anyway.


  30. Blogdramedy Says:

    Q: Would you lie for me if I asked you to?

    A: Yes.



  31. crubin Says:

    “Do you mind if I record this? We’d like to use it at our holiday party.”


  32. Anastasia Says:

    How comfortable are you with chaos in the work place?


  33. Simon Says:

    What’s with your shoes?

    Great stuff man, I was going to follow your blog but now I am thinking if I hold out for number 700 you might throw me a party or something.


  34. PCGuyIV Says:

    Aside from the dreaded “self-diagnosis” questions such as “What’s your weakest/strongest trait?” etc., I hate being asked to predict the future. I can’t stand “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” or any semblance thereof. I understand the purpose of it, to some degree, and I do plan and think ahead (having short and long-term goals, setting money aside, contingency plans, etc.); however, I don’t project in that fashion, so it becomes difficult for me to answer such questions. I would love to tell those who ask me this, “One moment while I pull the crystal ball out of my a** and take a look…. Ohhh…. Soo sorry. Apparently, my clairvoyance isn’t working today, I can only see where I am right now.”


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