Answers to a Candidate Questionnaire

Lately I have been actively interviewing for new jobs because I’m sick of doing compliance work at my current job. Last week a recruiter reached out to me about this company GV, for which I had a first round interview with and who is making me submit this Candidate Questionnaire. One bird two stones to turn the answers into a new post!

Please tell us 3 times you were treated unfairly

  1. 2 years ago I was on a flight with a well dressed, taller and good looking partner. I had paid for an upgrade for both of us when the chief flight attendant approached us to have the credit card bill signed and card returned. She immediately ignores my existence and goes straight to my partner, and becomes extremely embarrassed after she realizes that the card is mine, not his. This was by far the most sexist and racist experience I’ve ever encountered in my life. I also told her that her behavior was disgusting. In reality, we are very judgmental beings who can make very poor and unfair judgements on other people.
  2. In Myanmar, there was a temple that did not allow women inside. I felt very left out! These traditions are dated and need to be abolished!
  3. In Iran, it is illegal for women to be in public without a headscarf. By tradition, women also have to adhere to certain dresscodes. I was stopped by a self-policing conservative woman in the Tehran subway, who complained in my face about the way I dressed. Men on the other hand had zero restrictions on what to wear. While I respect their culture, the whole system is totally unfair for women and people are completely brainwashed.

Please list 3 companies you admire and why

  1. IKEA
    You will find IKEA in over 50 countries in the world, yet it is still a privately held company. In most major cities you can always rely on an IKEA store with the same food and furniture. It is amazing that they are consistent in quality and design at an affordable price, offering excellent value for money. They have basically saved my life in every new city I’ve moved into. Thank you, IKEA!
  2. Facebook
    After 13 years, Facebook is still sustaining user engagement and growth on their platform. How often do you hear personal use media survive for longer than 5 years? None! At least I cannot think of any social media tools I used 13 years ago that I am still using today. They are forever evolving and acquiring relevant businesses to increase even more user coverage. I can imagine how potentially powerful they can become in the future if nobody can disrupt them.
  3. Tencent
    With one of the ugliest user interfaces out there for messaging apps, WeChat is an astounding achievement for how they managed to merge so many different technologies on their platform. Chatbots and emoji gifs were their thing, and then you had the mobile wallet, e-red pockets, restaurant reservations, ordering a taxi, rent a bike, etc, all in one platform. I am personally an avid user of the mobile wallet and I love it. Essentially, a majority of a billion people in China are actively engaged on it and the services it can offer is limitless. It has, to some extent, revolutionized China’s ecosystem. Even Facebook is already copying their model. So what mobile controlled idea can they possibly come up with next?

By the way, I admire all non-profits.

Please list 3 companies you DO NOT admire and why

  1. Uber
    As much as I admire Uber for being a disruptive company, the CEO has recently been portrayed in negative light on his personal behavior. Also, the viral ex engineer’s blog post about the company culture tells you how rampant gender inequality is at the core. Before I started my current job, I actually interviewed for a position with them. The interviewer left me with distaste, he insisted that Uber does not need backup plans because it simply cannot fail. Arrogance filled the air, and I do not believe companies can persevere if the culture is constantly blinded by success.
  2. AT&T Mobile USA
    Horrible customer service, lots of hidden charges, unreasonable contract early termination fees…the list goes on. Why they still exist is baffling.
  3. HSBC Hong Kong
    Poorly designed, unusable, outdated electronic platform. Web interface is a disaster. Took me 30 minutes to find one transaction record. The bank in general is also losing revenue quarter on quarter. The corporate employee infrastructure is a total mess, with a high turnover. Basically a dazed and confused monopoly giant.

On a scale of 1–10, how lucky are you?

7. In certain situations I have been lucky for not getting into trouble, but I have a preconceived notion that I am not a lucky person, as told by several fortune tellers. Though in general I am very appreciative of what I have today, and I am grateful for having the liberty to make decisions that drive my own life.

How many hair salons do you think there are in Hong Kong?

There are probably at least 10 to 30 hair salons per MTR subway stop. Taking an average of 20, multiplied by the sum of
10 stops on the New Territories line,
15 East Kowloon stops,
9 West Kowloon stops,
17 Island stops, 
3 major residential stops on the orange/green line, 
3 major stops on the purple line, 
3 major stops on the brown line, 
(a total of 60 major stops.) So,

20 hair salons * 60 metro stops = approximately 1,200 hair salons in Hong Kong.

How would you describe your attention to detail from 1–10?

8. Not sure if this is done on purpose? I already noticed typos “describe” and “from” on this question…

Data tidiness and layout organization is very important for me, because it allows me to identify errors right away just from eyeballing. I always think of the downstream impact on the changes I make, making sure the consequences are more beneficial than harmful.