When I was younger and really bored I used to watch WGN in Chicago. In the mornings, they had this show that included Bozo the Clown and he would have kids on the show. They had this game that challenged kids to throw ping pongs into big buckets and the farther they went, the better prizes they would get. It was essentially a carnival game that was rigged for them to fail. Every once in a while, the contestant would make it far enough to get close to winning a trip to Disneyland, but Bozo laughs so goofily that kids would get nervous and fail.
This experience from my bitter past reminds me of an all too real situation I face on a daily basis. As you know, I’m currently failing to be employed, so many strange and Bozo-like experiences happen to me every week. The jobs l look at are increasingly bizarre and strange, and the “opportunities” that come my way are increasingly weird. One of the strangest things that happen to me nowadays is called “phone interviews” and they range from intense, real interview like questions that you would get if you were in the office of a CEO, to personality quizzes, to “if you were an elephant, what would you pack in your trunk?” type questions.
Lately, though they basically have this type of phone interview that my wife and I like to call the “Bozo interview”. It’s basically a screener interview, always done by a member of the HR department that basically asks you questions to find out if you have a pulse. Questions come up like “Do you have a driver’s license?” and “Are you available for full-time employment, or are you seeking part-time?” After they decide you have a pulse, they then pass you on to the hiring manager for a “real” phone interview.
Basically, it is what we call the “Are you a Bozo?” interview questions. They are basically deciding if you are smart enough to handle speaking to another human on the phone. Of course, they are really PC about the whole thing, but in a world where PC wasn’t a thing anymore, my wife and I came up with a series of questions they could really ask if they didn’t have to worry about getting sued for asking.
Bozo questions for a non-PC company to ask:
1. Do you drive a car that is smaller than a Mini-Cooper?
2. Do you have any friends that say, walk on tightropes, shoot themselves into rings of fire, or fly on a trapeze?
3. How are your juggling skills?
4. How often would you say you got paid to attend children’s birthday parties?
5. Which Stephen King novel that made it into a movie about red balloons and gutters would you say is your favorite?
6. Have you ever had to drive 12 or more of your friends in your Mini-Cooper to a circus and had all of them fit?
7. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your balloon tying skills?
8. Are you a distant cousin or perhaps brother to Ronald McDonald?
9. When you are preparing for work, how much white face make up do you apply each day?
10. Do you know a flying Elephant named Dumbo?
I get it, companies want to make sure that you are qualified to do a job and that you are the kind of person that says, isn’t going to have a massive freak out or show up only 20% of the time after the first week. But I feel like having a simple interview with a person on the phone or even checking their LinkedIn could get you past the “Bozo” stage of interviewing.
Just so you know, I have passed all my Bozo interviews and have reached the “Competent stage” interviews that follow right after.
Wish me luck to make it to the “Eh, maybe we will take a chance on this guy” stage.
Bitter Bozo Ben
Target Deal of the Day: Jetson Rogue Hoverboard with Galaxy Light-Up Wheels. If Bozo the Clown’s toy car was in the shop, he could use this fantastic hoverboard to get to work. Then he could get his white makeup on, and his red nose and style that spiky hair and get ready to creep out more people.