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Acosta Leadership Development Program Associate Interview Question

I interviewed in Chicago, IL and was asked:
"Just entertain me for five minutes, I'm not going to talk"
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Part of a Leadership Development Program Associate Interview Review - one of 89 Acosta Interview Reviews

Answers & Comments

20
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I am not going to talk either. The entertainment will be to see how much we can communicate with each other using only gestures, facial expressions and body language. Go!
- John on Dec 29, 2011
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3
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What about showing them re-runs from old family videos your mom posted on YouTube? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0)
- GBAD on Jan 6, 2012
3
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A rabbi, priest, and a gorilla walk into a bar...
- Ed on Jan 10, 2012
17
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Thanks for your time.
- Dave on Jan 10, 2012
11
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I agree with Dave. This is an interview killer. I would not want to work for a manager who is blatantly narcissistic and likes to play games, and would waste my time like this.
- Bud Fox on Jan 10, 2012
10
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Oh -- the Quiet Game. I loooove this game. When I win, do you prefer that I use your name when I tweet about it, or just the company's?
- SocialMedia on Jan 10, 2012
11
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Bud I have to disagree. Depending on the position you are interviewing for, this could reveal alot about how you would perform in the job when placed on the spot. Think about it. How likely is it that as a professional, you could be left in a room with a client while the presenter steps out for 5 minutes, You have to keep them entertained so they stay interested in your company.
- Paula W on Jan 10, 2012
2
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Can't we just sit here and enjoy the silence?
- Jared on Jan 10, 2012
1
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So, who's on first...
- don on Jan 10, 2012
12
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Clients aren't 8 year olds with ADD. There is no situation in a real life working environment (aside from entertainment) where you have to talk for 5 minutes just to entertain somebody. If a presenter has to step out for 5 minutes, you lost the client's business already. If it was an emergency, the best thing to do is to communicate that fact. Most clients will simply go to their blackberrys to sort through the emails that they missed on the way to your office.

Unless you're interviewing for a position as a court jester, this is a silly question and it would be a dealbreaker for me.
- To Paula, on Jan 10, 2012
8
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Bohemian Rhapsody a capella. 'Nuff said
- Harrison on Jan 10, 2012
7
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Unless you're interviewing to do nightly improv comedy there's no reason for this question. You can see a person's fun loving personality and likability in the interview. The manager has a real childish ego; it's best to avoid that. You're there to do a job not boost his nonexistent self-esteem. "What am I a monkey?"
- Chase on Jan 10, 2012
5
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I actually tend to agree with Paula somwhat. This question is for a Leaderhip Development Program Associate. I would think that the person in this role will have to present to large groups quite often and make it entertaining. saying "thanks for your time" just means you are a quitter and probably not a good fit anyway. 5 minutes isn't a long time. Many people read this question and right way think it is dumb. Maybe the question actually asks for you to be engaging.
- ha on Jan 10, 2012
21
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Great! Let me walk you through my resume, my experience and my qualifications for this position. I must admit, this will be a refreshing change of pace where I can complete my train of thought. I appreciate your silence. I can answer any of your questions after I finish. My career objective is...........

In other words, use this time for your personal sales pitch!
- Jay on Jan 10, 2012
6
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I agree with Jay.
- DibblesMcPhee on Jan 10, 2012
3
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Used to work with a guy who did something like this to newbies who were interviewing at the company. But he didn't tell them what he was doing. He'd just stare them down. He said he was waiting for them to, "Get interactive." In other words, he wanted them to start the conversation. I told him he was being a bully and to knock it off.

But if someone did this to me I'd either go with Jay's suggestion or begin reciting poetry or perhaps sing a few tunes by Tom Lehrer. :-)
- ACB on Jan 10, 2012
2
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You may all be correct. It depends upon the interviewer. Is the person being a complete ass, or do they actually want to ascertain your response, perhaps to see how you will fit in with the firm. While it might not be my response, my first thought would be, "will I be your boss or your subordinate?"
- Elizabethanne on Jan 10, 2012
0
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If you won't talk, would you care to play a round of rock paper scissors and try to see how many times we come up with the same choice in a row?
- Paul on Jan 10, 2012
3
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I, too, would not say a word. Instead, I would pull out my paper that I was taking notes on, draw a tic-tac-toe board and hand them my pen.
- JC on Jan 10, 2012
3
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This little task would be a no brainer for someone in the dental profession or education..only 5 minutes- how about an hour!?
- NoProblem on Jan 10, 2012
0
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start playing! best time killer + entertainment :)
lots of games that don't need talking.
- tic-tac-toe!
- origami!
- any mobile game!
- Tu on Jan 10, 2012
3
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This can come off as a childish encounter with a narcissist and probably both are true, usually either newbie managers or managers who are bored with their jobs and really don't care who works there. However, depending upon how badly you want a job....This could be a great opportunity to say, "Oh good, you are looking for autonomy and leadership. Both of which I am good at and look forward to one day taking a position much like the one you are in."
- Cber on Jan 10, 2012
3
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I would say, "Nod if you like singing." Without waiting, I would start singing. I bet they would start talking then.
- pugboy on Jan 10, 2012
2
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In certain management position, you will encounter people who refuse to cooperate, plain stubborn or just a pain to work with... since you are holding a higher position, they simply give the "I don't care; but I will give you time to breath your thoughts" - EXACTLY what this question is pushing across.
I would say, you need to talk and get the interviewer to open up. Think of something creative or something (nice of course) that will provoke a response - family, friday's game, super bowl etc... if you want the job or pass the interview.
- the BearZ on Jan 11, 2012
0
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It it was in ITor academic position I would land the job simply by reciting the entire script from Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail.
- Erex on Jan 11, 2012
0
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Lot of good thoughts and views. I dont seem to agree with the Bearz.
I have seen stubborn problem being handled in many ways. For instance, work for Cisco or large corporations and you will have your answer: POWER.
- smooth_rider on Jan 11, 2012
2
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Wow, I can't believe the narcissistic response I see here. Lighten up, its an interview, not a power play. They are trying to get to know you, and you guys are assuming all these negative things out of it. With that attitude, you affect those around you and in no doubt, you will carry that to the work place. This question is to filter those people out.

I would simply keep it chill and talk about the neighborhood, my interest, what I like and a little about my self. Be humble and be friendly. If you can't answer or tolerate this question, you are either too nervous, or don't know how to diffuse nasty situations.
- me on Jan 11, 2012
1
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Buds, such circumstance to occur during business negotiations, internal and external customer interaction interviews etc, to judge your proactiveness, creativity and endurance to handle such circumstances. You have to cut through the silence and create an atmosphere with your entertaining words on any subject matter (other than your are there for) and in order to slowly come to point (after judging the mood of the other person) and close the deal amicably.
As on observer to such situation will help you to find the tenacity of the person to manage such circumstance
- AKG on Jan 12, 2012
1
of 1
vote
Buds, such circumstance to occur during business negotiations, internal and external customer interaction interviews etc, to judge your proactiveness, creativity and endurance to handle such circumstances. You have to cut through the silence and create an atmosphere with your entertaining words on any subject matter (other than your are there for) and in order to slowly come to point (after judging the mood of the other person) and close the deal amicably.
As on observer to such situation will help you to find the tenacity of the person to manage such circumstance
- AKG on Jan 12, 2012
0
of 0
votes
I would take 27 seconds to pull out my iPod and play "Four minutes, thirty three seconds" by John Cage.
- PB on Jan 13, 2012
0
of 0
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Acosta sounds like a cool place to work!
- Alex on Jan 14, 2012
1
of 1
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I would really like to meet Jay, that;s the way to go, and turn every situation the way you want it to be! :)
- Sandrica on Jan 23, 2012
1
of 1
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i'd start singing :p
- huda on Jan 24, 2012
3
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I would start telling them about my living experiences throughout the United States and South America, and some of my adventures. They would be totally fascinated by all the people and diversified experiences I have had, and the 5 minutes would be way too short.
- Dana on Jan 24, 2012
0
of 0
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I know of a coworker that used this question because she didn't really want to be a part of the interviewing process and used it just to burn time.
- Jack on Jan 24, 2012
0
of 2
votes
I know exactly how I'd answer this question.
"I'm sorry, my understanding was that this was to be a job interview. If you're looking for someone to entertain you, you'll have to look elsewhere." *Get up, handshake, exit.*
- Anonymous on Feb 7, 2012
5
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votes
Wow! Out of some 3 dozen responses here and only about two of you got it right! That's amazing! Maybe the competition for jobs out there isn't going to be as tough as I thought! Come on guys! If you can't spend FIVE minutes talking about this company (you HAVE done your research, right?) and why you think they have a compelling vision and exactly how you think your unique skills and capabilities can contribute to that vision, you are clearly not the type of person I'd want to hire. A question like this is a gift! (And apparently very effective, as it would have quickly weeded out about 30 of you!)
- kmote on Feb 8, 2012
5
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Yes - it's rather insulting to be put on the spot, with a question of this nature, it's MEANT to cause a reaction, and to see if you go off, or if you can extrapolate from the question and take charge.
They also want to see how you react socially, as leadership roles are expected to make appearances, and put up with all kinds of ridiculous questions, which can contain important subtexts. Can you roll with the punches? Do you take offense easily?

This is a LEADERSHIP question - start leading!
Entertain - give him something to think about!
You're given full control of the situation, and he won't even interrupt you!
Imagine you've got a room full of people and you're holding the microphone.
It's the same thing, just fewer people. The trick is to come of as a presenter, not as a comedian.
- Bee Kay on Mar 6, 2012
3
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votes
Make yourself look as good as you can! Duh! even if the interviewer is just bored or being a jerk or whatever, why wouldn't you sell yourself? THAT'S WHAT YOU DO IN AN INTERVIEW ANYWAYS! For everyone who wouldn't take advantage of this, thats like saying "I don't want to have to prove to you that I can do this job" which is basically the worst thing you could imply in an interview.
- Stephanie on May 8, 2012
0
of 0
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Talk about the interviewer, guess his interests *i'm remembered of sherlock holmes* :D
- Prashanth on Jul 6, 2012
0
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This is, in itself, a test on your communication skills. It is essential that you do not look stupid, or hesitate with your answer.
Focus on things that you love to do and find interesting. Mostly vacations will provide you with the best feeding ground.
A great amusement park, a trip through the national parks, a boat cruise, camping trips, the Smithsonian, etc.
The key is to use lots of detail, and make them believe that it was lots of fun. And make sure that you smile, and look them in the eyes as you are doing it.

Lastly, watch the clock. Time is important. Do not talk about family life or gardening.
- Raven on Jan 27, 2013
0
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Ok then I'll force you to talk and laugh within 2 minutes by any means.....Thats what I can do and if I'm successful in that you gonna hire me without any further questioning or interview process...DEAL
I think this should be your motto (reflecting you are ready to take any challenge or face any situation full-heartedly anytime) in such kind of a questions..
- Neha on Feb 28, 2013

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