Friday, April 25, 2008

...Why would you want to put it there in the first place?

A couple of weeks ago, my supervisor at the grocery store gave me this little quiz:
1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?
3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference; all the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
4. There is a river you must cross. But it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

Many versions of this "assessment" are available online. I even found one at Car Talk. Ready for the answers? Here they are:

Question #1: Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.
Question #2: Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator.
Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.
Question #3 Correct Answer: The Elephant. The Elephant is in the refrigerator! This tests your memory.
Question #4: Correct Answer: You swim across. All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting! This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Andersen Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong. But many preschoolers got several correct answers. Andersen Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of four-year-olds.

Which is funny and (I hope) meant to be a joke. The way my supervisor explained it, though, was that someone actually used this quiz during hiring interviews, to determine whether or not potential employees "thought outside the box." At the time, it really annoyed me - for the rest of the day, I wondered what kind of irresponsible jerk would use that as a basis for hiring someone - but now I'm thinking she probably just misheard it, or (more likely) she received it as an e-mail forward and the original story got all telephoned to hell.

For the record, I missed three questions. Does that make me dumber than a four-year-old? Hmm...

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