Week 10 Presentation – Tom Emerick

Tom mentioned several key points during his presentation. I would like you to focus on his story concerning his interview with Sam Walton. He discussed his interview was five hours long and asked him questions concerning the car he drove, what he does when he wakes up in the morning, etc. Was this line of questions appropriate for a job interview? What should an employer be most interested in when interviewing a potential employee?


  • Jonny Schwartz

    I found what Tom Emerick had to say about his job interview with Sam Walton to be an intersting story. It is common practice to research a company and the position you are applying for before an interview. This shows an interest and responsibility torwards the company, but anyone has the capability to do this in preparation. By asking quetions as to a person’s routine and interests, an interviewer can learn about ones character. Most job responsibilities can be learned as a person trains on the job. Personality and work ethic will most likely remain the same within a person, so it is good to learn this about a potential employer or when designating a leader within a group.

  • Andrea Allison

    In my opinion, these are not appropriate questions for an interview, especially asking what car he drives. It is a materialistic question that has no relevance to getting a job. An employer should be interested in other more important things. These things may include work ethic, experience, and ideas to improve the business in which they will be working. An interviewer should be concerned with a person’s ability to complete the job. There were much better questions that could have been asked then what he drives.

    On the other hand, the second question about what he does when he wakes up could be useful to an interviewer. Interviewers will often use strange questions to throw off the interviewee and learn a little more information about them. They may learn about their organization and other aspects that may be important to the job.

  • Brittney Rutledge

    Tom Emerick made many points throughout his essay about the kind of leader a person should be. He said that when he was interviewed by Sam Walton that the questions that Walton asked were a bit out of the ordinary. The questions were not about where he had gone to school or his work ethic but about things much simpler, such as what car he drove and other everyday life kind of questions. This was because Walton knew that since Emerick was in the interview he obviously had the qualifications for the job. Walton wanted to know what kind of person Emerick was. It is always important to get to know the kind of person you are getting ready to hire. This allows the interviewer to pick the best possible candidate. But there are limitations as to what an interviewer should ask. The questions asked should be in regards to the persons character. Simply asking a person what their favorite color is will be a waste of time The interviewer should ask questions that help them to know the kind of person the candidate is but not silly questions that do not allow the interviewer to stay unbiased.

  • Even though I was unable to attend what I’m sure was a great speech by Mr.Emerick , I feel that I can still respond to this question. I am a huge proponent of personal privacy, and the right one has to keeping information that dose not affect anyone but ones own self. The only thing a potential employer should be worrying about is rather or not I will be good at the job. They have no right what so ever to ask me questions about my personal life, my daily routine, who my friends are, or what my sexual orientation is. That is my business, and has no baring waht-so-ever on my abilty to preform the task that I was hired to preform.

  • Christina Traverso

    For me, Tom Emerick’s interview with Sam Walton seemed strange at first, but the way I understood it, any outstanding job (such as working for a very successful businessman like Mr. Walton), will have an outstanding, or unusual, interview. I thought it was interesting how asking questions like that could tell you more about your employee, considering the spontaneous nature. I don’t know if the questions were “appropriate”, per say, it probably depends on the more on the answers given than the actual question, but I do feel as though questions like that could help an employer decide whether or not to hire an employee, especially in the case of otherwise equal candidates.
    For example, if one of the questions is “what time do you wake up in the morning on an average day?”, someone who answers 7 AM (if they’re being honest) versus someone who says 3 PM, could indicate that the person who consistently wakes up at seven in the morning, rather than three in the afternoon, is smart about getting enough sleep, and that they probably go to bed early (as opposed to maybe staying out late and sleeping in late). This can imply that the early-riser potential employee is better at time management and therefore efficiency, which is definitely something an employer should want in his/her employees. Another advantage to asking those kinds of questions could help the employer is simply how the candidate responds to these questions. If you’re looking for a resilient, take-charge employee, someone who is easily flustered by a spontaneous challenge might not be someone you want to hire, ceteris paribus.
    Even though these positive scenarios are circumstantial, if the potential employee is honest, the information gained from strange questions such as the ones Mr. Walton asked Mr. Emerick could prove to be helpful in deciding who you should hire. Altogether, it could be an effective strategy, in combination with other factors.

  • Kayla Auffenorde

    While listening to Tom Emerick’s story, I found it funny that such questions would be asked. But once I got to thinking about it, I do not necessarily think those were inappropriate questions. Of course an employer should be seeking out the obvious questions such as, “what can you personally bring to the job that sets you apart from others” and “what qualifies you to be eligible for this job”, but they should also be asking the questions that reveal what their character is made up of. It is really easy to practice for the typical questions that will get them the job, but it is the questions that catch them off guard that I think are the most important. In Emerick’s case, the questions were asked to better define his personality. It also helped the employer to understand what background he is coming from and what has made him who he is. If an employer is going to higher a trustworthy and hardworking employee then would they not want to seek out what the potential employee’s values and passions are? So although the questions may seem inappropriate at the time, they may just be the questions that actually get someone the job.

  • Mariah Wagner

    I think they were appropriate questions for an interview because like Mr. Emerick said, “people who are interviewing you already know you are qualified so they want to know what kind of character you have.” His story reminds me of my interview for LOT because I was expecting questions about my resume, and instead got what I considered at the time to be very random questions. I now know that you all were looking to see what kind of personality and character I have. I do think your character is one of the most important things an employer should be interested in because that will tell them how hard you will work, your leadership skills, and whether you will get along with people or not, which are all very important attributes to have.

  • Gabrielle Devero

    Usually when one thinks of a job interview, they think of your average “what are your past experiences?” or “why would you be a good add to the company” kind of questions and it consisting of about 15-30 minutes. It is very interesting that the interview was 5 hours long and full of random questions. Some of those questions in my opinion were not appropriate for a job interview because why is it important what car you drive or what is your morning routine. Sam Walton might have just wanted to get on a personal level with him and wanted to get to know him as a person. When hiring someone, you don’t want to hire someone who is fake. One should be most interested in how the potential employee will make a difference in the company and if the person is qualified.

  • Kayla Standlee

    I think there were questions that were relevant, but there were also questions that were not relevant. The question of what car does he drive is not relevant to me. There are people that do not drive the nicest cars because they are saving money for something or building wealth for the future. I do not think someone should be judged over what they drive, because you do not always know their story or why they drive what they do.

    The question about what he does in the morning is a relevant question. The things that people do in every day life says a lot about their character. If you are a slob at home, there is a great chance you will be a slob at work. If you leave in just enough time to get somewhere, you probably won’t be dependable to be on time every day. The things you do unconsciously show a lot about your character so the line of questions about what you do every day is relevant. The employer should care more about your character and how you carry yourself more than anything, because that will show in your every day job more than anything.

  • Kaley Everson

    Concerning his interview, I found it significantly interesting that such questions were asked. Asking personal life questions often is not pursued. This may be because the head individual who of which is asking the questions often searches for things like previous work experience and academic achievements. Although these are crucial on reflecting the capacities of the person, it is also important to know more of that person’s abilities concerning their personality. With Sam Walton asking questions such as “what kind of car do you drive?” and “what is your everyday routine?”, he was able to understand that person on a more personal level. He was seeking to really get to know the individual; and by asking questions pertaining to personal situations, it is much easier to understand the qualities the individual held.

  • Ashley Sells

    Yes, I do think it was appropriate to ask him those things about his personal life. It helps Sam get a better understanding of Tom and his character. If Sam understand his character he can determine weather Tom would be a good person for the position.
    An employer should be most interested in:
    1. If the person is qualified.
    2. If the person is a team player/work good with others
    3. If the person is caresmatic for others
    4. If the person is a diligent and consistent worker.

  • To be honest, I found this story of Tom interesting because almost not all employers will ask questions like that. I personally feel that questions like “what car he drove” and “what he does when he wakes up in the morning” are questions that help employers to find out the interviewees’ characters. It is definitely testing the patience of the interviewees, but most of them do not understand the purpose and thus not being hired for the job. In a company, patience is very important because it determines the productivity of the work — if an employee is always rushing to get his or her job done, details might be left out in the process. Furthermore, I think these questions are appropriate as well so that employers could find out what their lifestyle are. I reckon an employer wouldn’t want to know that their employees come back drunk and tired on a Sunday night and get back to work on a Monday morning only after they have hired them. Hence, these questions are very important for employers to get to know the characters of their potential employees.

  • Malana Smith

    I liked what Mr. Walton said when he interview first started with Tom. He said something alongside he lines of, “Youre obviously qualified if you’re here for an interview,” because I in ink a lot of times, we forget that. So, technically, what other questions a re there to ask a potential hire? How much should we pay you to use your qualifications? Obviously not!

    Instead, the man took the time to ensure that the man who would work for him,nth man who would represent his company when he went places, the man whom he would be depending on for a part of his company to thrive was of good character, dependable, and knew who he was. For e man to take the time to care enough to ask those questions, must care about jus employees, his company and the coworkers of this potential hire.

    If he was discriminating in many way over his race or religion, that would be different. But in this example, I am happy someone is willing to do something like that.

  • Malana Smith

    (Edited) I liked what Mr. Walton said when he interview first started with Tom. He said something along the lines of, “You’re obviously qualified if you’re here for an interview,” because I think a lot of times, we forget that. So, technically, what other questions are there to ask a potential hire? How much should we pay you to use your qualifications? Obviously not!

    Instead, the man took the time to ensure that the man who would work for him, the man who would represent his company when he went places, the man whom he would be depending on for a part of his company to thrive was of good character, dependable, and knew who he was. For a man to take the time to care enough to ask those questions, he must care about his employees, his company and the coworkers of this potential hire.

    If he was discriminating in many way over his race or religion, that would be different. But in this example, I am happy someone is willing to do something like that.

  • Ethan Wood

    I think this variety of question is appropriate for the type of interview Mr. Emerick was involved in. At the level of position Mr. Emerick was applying for, the potential employer knows that the applicant is probably qualified. Mr. Walton was attempting to find out about Mr. Emerick’s character. In a high level position like Mr. Emerick was applying for, having employees with similar characters is vital.

    For other varieties of jobs, the character of the employee is not as big of a factor as in Mr. Emerick’s position. For instance, an applicant for a position at a research institution would probably be asked about his research interests, experiences, and education. Such questions give the employer the information he or she needs to make a hiring decision.

    The point is, the type of position the applicant is applying for should determine the type of questions ask. In Mr. Emerick’s position, I think the line of questions was perfectly applicable and appropriate. However, if I were applying for a position as a professor in a scientific field, such questions would be quite ridiculous.

  • Beth Rawlins

    The principle behind the questions Tom was asked is relevant. An employer should be interested in the characteristics of the person they are looking to hire, not just the black and white qualifications of her or his resume. However, the particular questions Tom mentioned seemed trivial and not at all a good judge of someone’s character. Personally, if an employer asked me what kind of car I drove or something along those lines of my personal preferences, I would question whether or not I would be a good fit under their authority. Asking questions of personal preference would only judge someone’s character based on existing stereotypes of people who would choose one thing over another. For example, if I were to drive a newer model Lexus, it could be said that I was a successful individual. But what if I mismanaged my money and, instead of buying a more humble car, bought something that put me in a lot of debt just so that I could have the appearance of success. Likewise, I could drive a ’98 Accord and be an extremely successful person with a desire to live simple. The goal to ascertain the personal qualities of the person you are interviewing is important, but it seems that the way Sam Walton went about it was based on stereotypes and leaves a lot of room for error.

  • Shelby Allen

    With the status that Sam Walton has achieved for himself and his company over the past decades, I admire the lengths he took to get to know his executives during their job interviews. Emerick explained that his work resume was able to speak for itself, and Walton was simply getting to know his character. It was important to Walton to develop a personal relationship with Emerick and discover who he was as a person, not only as a future employee. When interviewing someone for a high ranking leadership position, I believe Walton was right in conducting this sort of interview process. Walmart is one of the largest corporations in the market today, with thousands of employees all with the mission of serving the public’s needs. It is important for CEO’s to hire those executives and managers with an attitude and vision that reflects the company’s ideals. To employers, it is important to have the necessary experience and skills needed for the position, but also to have the social and emotional skills needed to work effectively in the environment. These sorts of questions are not the ones that most employees are expecting in interviews, but it is better to spend extra time during the process prior to hiring to discover if this job will be the best fit for both employee and employer.

  • Matthew Frech

    I’m not sure that this is the most effective line of questioning, but there is definitely nothing wrong with it. I believe that the boss of a company has the right to ask most whatever what he wants. Obviously there are some kinds of questions that are crossing the line, but for the most part a boss should be allowed to pick and choose what questions he or she wants to ask. Someone within the company knows what kind of person would fit the bill, and it is their job to find out the best they can now this person will fit in. If that requires asking questions like one’s morning habits, the so be it.

  • Olivia Cavazos

    The questions he was asked during his interview I believe were totally inappropriate. The type of car you drive should not even play into effect with if you are getting the job or not. I feel like the interviewer was too concerned about his out of job life. When he should be considered with his work ethic and job skills. You can tell those things by some personal questions, but not to the extent that he wanted to know. I feel like they wanted to know every little detail of his life when quite frankly it isn’t any of their business if he brushes his teeth before or after he eats his breakfast. Like I said earlier the employer should be asking about work ethic, commitment, job skills, and things that apply to the job not personal things that do not pertain to it.

  • Blair Summers

    I believe that Sam Walton was obviously brilliant with the company he built, but also the backbone that came behind it. More business leaders should have the humble, big picture mindset, instead of solely focusing on the things most people tend to make a priority. Sam seemed to care about the integrity and character of each individual employee from top to bottom. He sought the person behind the shiny interview clothes and résumé. I feel like that unusual line of questioning is appropriate. Anyone can tell someone what they want to hear, but it changes the atmosphere completely when that person is forced to be themselves without hesitation. That being said, an employee needs to have basic qualifications, but I agree that less time should be spent with the obvious and more spent on the core of people.

  • Rachel Payne

    I really liked Mr. Walton’s style. He can read about Mr. Emerick’s accomplishments and skills from resumés and recommendation letters, and he was obviously satisfied with them since he called him in for an interview. The main point of an interview is to see if the person is going to mesh well with the rest of the team, if its obvious that they are not a good fit you don’t hire them. Our character is evident in everything we do and the choices we make, and that is what Mr. Walton was wanting to learn about in the interview. You aren’t hiring someone to simply do a task but to be a valueable addition to a team and to make it work better so you have to learn more about them than just one area of their lives. All that being said, I think the questions were appropriate because he should be concerned about the potential employees character.

  • Denton Scherman

    I think these questions were perfect for the interview. In today’s society many people can have the exact same qualifications for a job. The only thing that sets one apart from another is their personality, work ethic, and how they carry theirselves. Personality makes a huge difference in the job. Will they be able to get along with others and still keep a strong drive to succeed? My dad told me when he is looking to hire someone he looks for people that do the extra work or “over deliver”. They may have the same education as the next guy but who will work harder and be happy being there. I believe education is important but having a great personality and personal drive is key for success in today’s world.

  • Samuel Corrales

    I think he asked the questions to review the way Tom would respond to them. Sam didn’t necessarily want to know the answers, but he wanted to know how much Tom was willing to let out about himself.
    I think employers should look for people who are willing to sacrifice. Obviously there are always going to be people who are more than qualified for some positions, there are going to be those that are under qualified, there will even be some people that the recruitment execs will even question why there are there. The best employees are the ones that are will to sacrifice their time, blood, sweat, and tears to something. It shows that they care for their position and that they value their job.
    Everyone will mess up at some point or another, it’ll take sacrifice from that employee to get things back to how they need to be. It’s not about pointing the blame to others, but to handle it all as your own and moving foward with it. Being confident in your decisions, whether they blow up in your face or not, is another trait that I think employers look for.
    My horoscope is Cancer, we base a lot of our decisions on our emotions. I know that if I have a business I want to hire someone who will look out for my company in the longrun and not let me sell out, or let it fall, just because I happened to be upset. If whoever I hire isn’t confident enough to let me know that I may be overracting, or whatever, my entire company and I could damage our name and reputations. With them stopping me from making rash decisions, it shows their sacrifice to the company.
    It all kind of ties together, at least to me it does.

  • Jessica Casey

    The interview Tom Emerick had with Sam Walton was five hours long. It consisted of questions one would not expect to be asked in a regular interview. Questions concerning the car he drives and what he does when he wakes up in the morning. I answer yes and no to whether or not these questions are appropriate for a job interview. I think they are fine to ask as long as other, more professional, questions are asked along side them. These seemingly “random” questions are a good way to recognize if the potential employee has a set schedule, pays attention to detail, and is honest and confident. In addition, when asking the professional questions, the employer can discover valuable things such as their greatest accomplishment, strengths and weaknesses, knowledge, and desire to work in the specific field. A mixture of these two types of questions would be a perfect combination to ask in a job interview.

  • There are a few attributes that I believe an employer should look into when interviewing a candidate for employment. The attributes I think they should look at are leadership abilities and a drive to succeed. I know myself personally if I was an employer I would look at these qualities very closely. I would first consider leadership because if a person can show they can lead a group of their peers I believe they can become very successful in today’s society. By showing leadership abilities a person can also show that they are a hard worker. Being in leadership positions teaches you to fail and then succeed, time management, and not being afraid to take a risk. All of these are important when wanting to hire an employee. Along with the qualities mentioned above I believe that a persons drive to succeed is an important trait to possess. A drive to succeed shows that you will work hard, and I beleive that if you work hard enough you can get anything accomplished. All it takes is dedication.

  • Cale Parnell

    It was appropriate for a leadership position such as Tom was applying for. Walton knew he was prepared for the professional role in the company: he wanted to know the moral characteristics of Tom. Sam was most interested in his daily habits because he wanted to see if Tom had a solid moral foundation. Morality was a big issue for Sam, and it should be, especially for leadership roles. If immoral people got those roles, they could abuse them. So employers should look for people with morals.

  • Ashley Palmer

    I believe the questions Sam asked Tom were similar to the ones you asked us in PLC interviews. The were to make us and him to think on your feet. They are also to get to know us better. The only difference between these questions and ours, also knowing the type of company Walmart is, these questions were probably also used to see the lifestyles and values each potential employee has. I think these questions are appropriate for a job. The employer should know who they are hiring.

  • Katie Sheehan

    I loved this creative way of getting to know a potential employee. I thought is was appropriate because rather than asking the typical interview questions and hearing the same set of answers, the employer gets to know whomever he is interviewing on a more personal level based on character rather than qualifications.

  • Cierra Chastain

    The line of questions during Mr. Emerick’s job interview were very different. During most interviews you are asked a set of questions that talk about the accomplishments and positions you may hold. I believe by getting to know someone on a personal level allows you to see their true character. When interviewing a potential employee you must be able to see if they would be a good fit to your company.

  • Sunny King

    In some ways, I believe Sam Walton’s interviewing style was appropriate but it really depends on the logic behind it. These series of questions could have been asked with very different reasoning behind it, and it would not have been as appropriate. In this case, these line of questions were asked in order to more accurately evaluate the potential employee’s character, which would be appropriate. I personally think this is a very beneficial and unique interviewing style. As Tom Emerick mentioned, the interviewer obviously already knows the potential employee has met all the basic qualifications to be a part of the program or they would not have been selected for the interview in the first place therefore, the interview is a perfect place and time to try to look deeper into the person’s character.

  • Joseph George

    I believe it was appropriate to ask him those questions. When interviewing an employee I believe it is vital to know their character through a series of simple questions. For example, the leadership interview. When I walked in their I was expecting all these hard questions that made my brain over think and made me sweat at every single stare that they gave me, rather they asked me questions like “what’s your favorite book or quote?” Just through those questions ones character can be easily revealed, because those questions are random and unexpected. Ones character is extremely important to how ones business or company does.

  • Hawley Austin

    Sam Walton’s interview questions were directed more at character than at skill. Mr. Walton asked Tom Emerick questions that normally wouldn’t be asked at a normal interview. These questions guided Mr. Emerick into who he is today. Bosses want their workers to be good at their job, but leaders want their assistants to have a good sense of character. The interview was aimed at Tom’s character not his job. Sometimes a person’s character is much more important than their title. We are judged on our character not our position. The way to get to really know someone is by getting to know their character. Sam Walton is very successful and he didn’t get there by his own position. He said in his interview that we should “always listen to the hourly workers.” They are those who witness at first hand what goes on everyday. They are the ones who interact with the customers on a daily basis. It isn’t always about the position because sometimes that position doesn’t allow us to witness things at first hand. He also said “great leaders are everywhere, it is our job to go out and find them.” In order to be successful, we need the help of others. Sam Walton didn’t get to be so successful on his own; he had the help of others. Yes his questions were appropriate because he got to know Tom as a person. He got to know his character. An employer should be most interested in the potential employee’s character because he or she could possibly represent the company and a company wants employees with good character. Employees reflect the company and if that company has employees with good character, so does the company itself.

  • Shelby Eddleman

    At first, this does not seem like an appropriate interview. The questions are so personal, and many would feel uncomfortable answering them. I’m sure not many of us have ever experienced an interview like that. However, the more I think about it, the more the probing questions make sense. Every company has its own culture, and part of an interview is seeing whether the company is a match for the individual. Asking more personal questions can get down to whether or not the match will be harmonious. Of course, the more conventional interview questions should be asked as well. However, I think that more companies should ask personal questions in their interviews. It helps to get to know each person more, and getting to know someone in a ten minute interview is difficult! Sam Walton’s questions may seem weird, but I think his reasons for asking them were definitely legitimate.

  • Lauren Walker

    Yes and no. I can see that it was good for the boss to get to know his employee to an extent but that can only go so far. There are certain things that a boss may need to know but to have an interview for 5 hours seems a little ridiculous to me. I believe that an employee should have a good relationship with their boss but on a professional level. Getting to know an employee better should definitely happen after he or she is hired. That is just my opinion.

  • Weston Schloss

    Soft skills are the most important thing when it comes to jobs. You can be a master of a subject with ultimate wisdom, but if you can’t use your soft skills such as working together or keeping a positive attitude, you will not contribute to your workplace. Asking excessive questions about material things is unnecessary and irrelevant when it comes to a career.

    I think the boss crossed the line with his questions. I fully understand wanting to get to know your employees, but a five hour long interview is superfluous. An interviewer getting to know the personality of prospective minions for the job would be the most important thing to ask. Getting down to the nitty gritty, asking about the soft skills would be what I would ask about.

  • Brady Sowell

    These types of questions are how I believe all interviews should be done. Of course the ability of an employer is important but the content of the employs character is more important. A well knowledged employee is terrible if he steals from your company. A less than equipped employee can learn if he works hard and is dedicated to excellence. Character is greater then talent in the workplace.

  • Rebekah Murphy

    I think these question are really important. I’ve been in an interview before where the questions they asked were things I put on my resume. An interview should be more about the personality and seeing if the person is going to fit with the corporation. There’s no point in asking questions that you can find on a resume. Sitting and just chatting will give you a better feel of what the person is like, the longer you sit and talk the more comfortable the person will be. People love talking about themselves, so by asking questions about themselves they will loosen up and be more likely to engage in a natural conversation. I would rather answer questions like that then spend more time talking about my resume, unless they wanted me to expand on that. Anyone can put qualities on their resume, but what is true is going to show through in their character in person.

  • Ilyssa Owen

    Tom Emerick’s interview with Sam Walton was unlike any interview I have received. I believe Tom mentioned that Sam Walton asked non generic questions because he wanted to know what Tom’s character was. Was the line of questions appropriate? I believe that if you are an employer, and know that your potential hire is indeed qualified for the job, then finding out if a person’s character is good or bad certainly appropriate. Assuming there are several qualified applicants, finding the people that hold a good character is of upmost importance. If I was an employer I would be looking for an individual that is honest, optimistic, hardworking, and compassionate towards others. If I were an employer asking questions like Sam Walton asked Tom, I would look for certain interesting things to stand out that represent these three traits. For example, if every morning a person watered their garden after making their coffee, it would exemplify hard work to maintain something they love. If someone was waken up at 5 every morning from their rescue dogs needing to be let outside to pee, I would see they have compassion. As I’m writing this blog, I am wondering to myself, if I were to be interviewed one day like Tom was interviewed, would the employer see these three qualities that I hold in high respects? It is easier to say, “oh yes I am a compassionate and honest woman.” To really genuinely have a good character, however, is much more difficult and can only be shown through actions.

  • Sheyla Rabei

    Companies with high market value like Google have their fair share of strange interview techniques when it comes to hiring new employees. People have written entire books over interview strategies when it comes to applying for a job at Google, because they’re well known for their mind-numbingly difficult puzzles they let the prospective employee try to solve. Of course, Google does this for a reason: they want engineers that can think outside of the box, in a quick and efficient manner, and a hard puzzle is a good way to test this. Other big companies have their own interview questions and tests that are a hurdle for the candidate to overcome, but behind these tough questions (and puzzles) are strategy. Different companies have different people with different traits and skills they’re looking for. Perhaps a company is looking for someone with patience and sensibility, so they make the interview last for five hours and ask petty, seemingly irrelevant questions (like in the case of Tom Emerick). It’s not known whether that was really their motive or not, but in my opinion, every question in an interview is valid, if not necessary, if it helps the interviewer find certain sought-for qualities in the person being interviewed. An employer should always look for the basics in a candidate: willingness, motivation, leadership, drive, charisma, initiative and creativity – but beyond that, I believe that it is up to the company to decide what characteristics their employee should have. Because job offerings often rely solely on the resume and interview, I think that an interviewer should ask whatever they think is necessary to better ensure the person will be a good fit for the company.

  • Chelsea Ratterman

    I think this line of questioning is appropriate in some cases. Some positions may need to hire based on a judgement of character, such as if it is a position in the public eye or of importance within the higher chain of command in an organization.

    Ambition is an important trait for me. Someone who is ambitious is willing to work harder and longer to get what they feel they deserve from their position and career, which leads to dependability and initiative, which are important traits within themselves.

  • Christen Hickey

    First and foremost, every job’s “most important” requirements will be different. For example, some jobs require more qualified people while others require more personable people. That’s part of the beautiful thing about the diversity of jobs you can choose to aspire for; you can pick the one YOU can do the best. In an interview, the two biggest things that seem obvious to ask for are just those: qualifications and personality. Is the person capable of performing the job, and can they do so with the people they would begin working with? Many times, however, the character of the person cannot be determined until later. Sam Walton obviously tried to speed that process up with the kinds of questions he asks. It may be possible to determine quite a bit about someone’s character through the kinds of questions he inquired; however, for that to be successful, the interviewee must be oblivious to what is really being asked. If Tom Emerick had known that Walton was trying to determine his character and not his qualifications, he might have skewed his answers to be what Walton would perceive as showing the “best” character. Walton was clever to ask these kinds of questions, however it is vastly difficult to correctly assess someone’s character in a matter of minutes in the manner of questions.

  • Ashton Smith

    Last week Tom Emerick came and spoke to our class. When he talked about the interview I really enjoyed knowing about the different questions that he was asked during the job interview with Sam Walton. As I get older I start to think more seriously about future job positions and the opportunities that may come to me and that includes job interviews. I feel that I want to work for an employer who does want to get to know my life in a professional way but as well as a personal way to some extent. While some may think asking these in depth questions of your personal life may be considered “not appropriate” I believe those questions are just as important as the questions that include past job and career experience.

  • Reagan Perry

    Knowing how qualified a person is when interviewing them for a job is the most important part but I think that getting to know someone on a more personal level is almost as important. I think there is a boundary to make on how personal the questions get during the interview though. Getting a sense of their personality and how well they will interact with the other colleagues is a necessary part of an interview but knowing their daily routines and personal aspects of their life is taking it a little too far. Keeping it professional is important.

  • Jenna Jones

    In my opinion, I do not think questions pertaining to such personal information is appropriate during a job interview. I understand the curiosity, seeing as the potential employee’s answers would give deep insight to their character, however questions unrelated to the job’s qualifications should not be asked. Personal questions make the interview just that: personal. Once personal perspective is shared, it risks personal feelings becoming involved – taking away the professional aspects. Employers should strictly ask questions related to what is important to their company when looking to hire new employees.

  • Daniel Fijalka

    I thought these questions were appropriate for the job interview. Questions like these can catch a person off guard, but I think those type of questions are an excellent way to find out the type of person someone is. When interviewing potential employees, I think employers should look at how a person presents himself or herself. Not at just how they dress, but they way that they speak to you. Do they sound honest, and are confident in their responses? I think punctuality is also an important quality. Being punctual shows that you really care about the position, and that you are prepared to go. Sometimes unfortunate things happen and you can’t always be punctual, but it is definitely something to strive for.

  • Maddisen McCleary

    I’ve always heard of what to do and not to do in interviews. I know that in an interview it is important to always make eye contact, dress accordingly, and be proffessional! Things like speaking clearly, sitting up straight, knowing about the job your applying for and being confident is key. In interviews employers look for a leader, someone who will bring diversity to their corporation and someone who can communicate well. Other things like salting your food before you try it are also signs that employers look for. It is important to always have a smile and be different! Make the employer want to have you.

  • Jon Lowrey

    Sam Walton knew that anyone who made it to his desk for an interview had the necessary qualifications to preform the job, what he was looking for in an employee was strong character and ethics. It doesn’t take these characteristics to make a company stronger or more profitable; you can have an incredibly profitable well performing business with no ethics. Sam wanted his business to be about more than the bottom line and profit margins, he cared about making his stores better places for customers to shop and lowering prices for American families. He was looking for employees that he knew could work towards that vision.

    Employers in America today are not Sam Walton; they do not have a grand vision of making one of the largest, most successful, ubiquitous companies also care about the needs of customers. That being said, employers would be wise to take this page out of Sam Walton’s book, corporate culture can make or break a company today. If you want to attract the best and brightest talent in your industry, you have to encourage a culture that is rife with collaboration and great interaction. How do you do that? By hiring employees not only because of their skill set, but because of their character.

  • Tre'Auntae Fairbanks

    Mr. Emerick was discussing the importance of character at a job. He commented on how hose questions didn’t reflect his work ethic but who he was as a person and how he got things done. A good work ethic is critical to successful employment, but it is something that can be taught and improved under the right management. Character however, is an internal force that one can mold for his or herself depending on their attitude of the world. Having good character at a job is important because it can be inspiring to one’s inferiors, while simultaneously showing your superiors that you are the right person for the job. This line of questioning may have seemed a bit obnoxious, but for the position Mr. Emerick was applying for I do believe it was appropriate because at a high level occupation good character will eliminate corruption, greed, laziness, a plethora of characteristics that can lead a company down the toilet.

  • Tanner Gore

    When it came to the interview Sam Walton asked the questions he did because he already knew that Emerick had the credentials for the job. Yet credentials are not everything. Someone that can get a long with people and understand certain situations in life may be more valuable than a robot that spent his or her college years learning everything except how to interact with human beings. The questions he asked were completely necessary in my opinion if you want more than just a worker. It is better to have someone that is understanding and a hard worker than someone who is an excellent worker but doesn’t really understand personal situations.

  • Tanner Gore

    (Second Question) I believe I person should be most interested in a possible employee’s attitude. I’ve worked with a lot of people that were great workers when they wanted to be. You have to want the job to be exceptional at it. You can work for the money or you can work to better your place of employment. I would much rather have someone working for me that was putting the grade of their work over how easy they could make it. There are ways out of everything but sometimes the easiest way to do something isn’t the best. We must work for what we really want to accomplish and attitude is everything.