The Morning Text 10/20

An Educational Newsletter

Welcome to The Morning Text! 

So I’m weird (I know, big surprise) but not in only in the standard weird way. In addition to screaming the lyrics to songs in strange accents, I also love working on my professional appearance. This has nothing to do with my physical appearance; I’m referring to my resume, LinkedIn profile, and professional behavior.  

I update my resume multiple times a year, even if I’m not searching for a job. I don’t even do this to be ready or prepared, I just do it because it’s fun and challenging. That of course poses the question, “How could resume building be fun or challenging?” Because I’m finding the best way to talk myself up without appearing cocky. At the same time, I have to use phrases and words that suggest specific application to the job I’m applying for all the while promoting an air of mystery to intrigue the interviewer. Forget the notion that the first interview is the first impression, it’s the second. Instead, the resume is your first impression. So you have to make your piece of paper outshine all the others with which you are competing and make it all look natural. You know, sexy but not like you’re trying. 
In addition to that, I check my LinkedIn every day. I’m not looking for a job, I just like my professional presence to be out there just in case anyone needs it. Occasionally, I’ll even receive interview offers from other people online looking for talent (just goes to show that anyone can be fooled).
Maintaining an attractive professional appearance is something I pride myself in. This is also something I have frequent conversations about. I often read about and discuss what makes an employee attractive to a potential employer, and I have been through many mock interviews just trying to learn more about it. 
My professional appearance study this week regarded just this, interviews. I wanted to know how to dazzle the best of the best in an interview. So I did some reading into difficult interview questions and found some material I thought was interesting. I found that quite a few CEO’s and startup Giants had given their favorite interview questions in press conferences and press interviews, so I made it a point to find those. 
Let me share a few of my favorite ones: 

 1. “What didn’t you get a chance to include on your résumé?” 

Billionaire Virgin Group founder Richard Branson asks this because he knows a résumé is only a piece of paper. He argues that if you were to hire someone based off of a piece of paper, then an interview would be all but obsolete.

 2. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how weird are you?”

CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh asks this because he’s looking for creativity and fun. He says that 1 isnt enough and 10 is too psychotic. Other than that the answer doesn’t matter all that much to him.

 3. “How old were you when you had your first paying job?”

Hannah Paramore, president of Paramore, asks this to see how deeply instilled a persons wort ethic And independence versus entitlement is.

 4. “What is your spirit animal/super power.”

Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, asks this to get a deeper look into a person’s character. For instance, his executive assistant, who has been working for him for years now, first answered the question with a duck. When questioned why she responded that a duck is her favorite animal because they appear to be calm on the surface but have an undying need to scurry around like crazy and do things. It was one of the things that got her the job.

 5. “Tell me about your failures.”

This one is possibly my favorite of all. In society failure is viewed as such a negative thing, but to most successful people failure isn’t “failure.” The English language is one of the most extensive and descriptive languages in the world, and yet we don’t have a better word to describe what we see as a failure. Thomas Edison, for example, had made over 1000 attempts to create the lightbulb. When asked about his “failures,” he responded something along the lines of “I didn’t fail. I simply found what wouldn’t work a thousand different ways.” Jenny Ming, CEO and President of Charlotte Russe asks this because she recognizes that failure isn’t just failure, it’s a way of learning. And having a belt of failures says something about your drive, work ethic and willingness to keep going. She also enjoys getting answers that doesn’t have to do with business. Her favorite part is hearing about how people have overcome their failures. 

 6. “What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?”

Ashley Morris, CEO of a successful sandwich shop franchise, asks this question to see into the morals of his potential employee. 

 7. “A hammer and a nail cost $1.10, and the hammer costs one dollar more than the nail. How much does the nail cost?”

CEO and Cofounder of Converto Jeff Zwelling asks this question to see if people can reason and problem solve. They’re not even required to get the correct answer (which is a nickel by the way), instead he wants to see their reasoning.

 8. “Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.”Peter Piel, Cofounder of PayPal, asks this to test your originality of thinking. Remember, Peter Piel Cofounded that company with Elon Musk who is known for creating outlandish deadlines and ideas

 9. “What was the last costume you wore?”

Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa, creators of Warby Parker, are genuinely just looking for fun people. They find that people that can make an environment fun often create more of a following which is a trait of leadership that the company values. The costume doesn’t even matter, it’s why they wore it.

 10. “You are standing somewhere on Earth’s surface. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile North. You end up at the same point you started. Where is that spot?”

This is Elon Musks favorite interview question. He asks this question to see people’s cognitive ability and problem solving skills. There are two answers. The first is the North Pole, and the second is on the mile long circumference of a circle surrounding the South Pole. That’s a toughie.

Challenge of the Day: I have two today. 

 0. Ask any one of these interview questions to anyone you please. Analyze their answer and come back to me with whether you would hire them or not, and why. 

 0. Choose one question that I haven’t already answered and give me your response. 

Sorry today’s was so long! I had to make up for not having one yesterday! This is one of my favorite topics so please do give me feedback!

That’s it for today! As this is a trial run, I am entirely open to tweaking The Morning Text, please provide feedback so that I can better cater to your interests. If you believe you have received this message in error and no longer wish to receive them, please notify me. If you would like to view previous Morning Texts please visit 

Have a wonderful day.

Written by Caleb Gibbons