Killer Interview Question: Would You Want This Job If It Was In Dubbo?

Killer Interview Question: Would You Want This Job If It Was In Dubbo?

The latest addition to the killer interview questions collection focuses on motivation: Would you want this job if it was in Dubbo?.


Michael Heyward, founder of secret-sharing app Whisper, uses this question to identify how keen potential staff are to work for him:

If Whisper was based in Ohio, would you still want to work here?

For Australian purposes, Dubbo is a good equivalent — it’s a perfectly serviceable city, but very few people have a burning ambition to move there.

While the obvious answer is “yes”, that question should also raise a red flag. Do you really want to work for a company that expects to routinely disrupt your entire life?

Fast-Growing App Whisper Asks All Job Candidates This One Question, And They’d Better Have The Right Answer [Business Insider]


  • What a stupid question.

    You should consider the location of your office/workplace the same as any other amenity you provide your staff and clients. If you want to attract the kind of people who work in Dubbo, you should have your office in Dubbo, if you’re wanting to attract the kind of people that live near a major city, then it would be better to be based there.

    Asking if you’d move to Dubbo for that company doesn’t tell you anything about that person, or their ability to do their job. It might just mean, they can’t move to Dubbo. It might mean they, heaven forbid, have a life already in they current city they live in, and they don’t want to tear that up for their job. This whole work-life balance thing must be highly overrated to these people.

    • Would rage if I were ever asked this question.

      say for example the job is advertised “insert generic position here located in Perth”
      can even go as far as to say that you narrowed down the search options on SEEK to only show JOBS
      IN PERTH.
      and you get to the interview.

      HR: “so, If generic job position was based in Sydney, would you still want to work here?”
      ME: It says on the advert that this is for a position in Perth, so no?”
      HR: you failed the loyalty test, let me show you the door”

      2 weeks later

      HR: Why can’t we find any suitable candidates, Looks like we will be hiring overseas again.

    • I think you’re misunderstanding the purpose of the question.

      Unless the person has no family or friends, or is desparate for a paycheck, the initial answer should at best be “I’m not sure.” Personally I’d give them a straight “No”, because there’s no way I’d put my family life in jepordy for a job.

      For me, a straight “Yes” would be a warning flag.

    • It’s one of those utter wanker questions, “How TOTALLY EXCITED are you to be working here? Are you so keen that you’ll lie out your ass just to stick your tongue up ours? In that case, we want YOU! We LOVE surrounding ourselves with cavalier nomads and disingenuous sycophants!”

      It’s definitely a strong indicator that you need to be asking a counter-question to figure out: with that in mind, what exactly is their corporate culture’s commitment to work-life balance? Is it a policy of forming a functional workforce of mentally and emotionally satisfied employees, or an incredibly inconvenient six-sigma tick-box to be avoided in ‘in spirit’ wherever possible?
      (Maybe don’t use those words. Try diplomacy.)

      But yeah, this kind of question says to me, that someone has drunk the corporate kool-aid and expects you to, too, or they intend to exploit you and think it’s cute. Either way, it indicates that kind of job probably isn’t going to be a good fit for me personally right now. Five years ago, it might’ve been. And hell, in a year it might be again.

      If you’re an eager young unshackled professional who is actively interested in seeing new places and wants to prioritize career over other factors that influence residence, then yeah, it could actually be a sign of a good fit.

      …Mostly I’m thinking it’s an exploitative angle though.

  • I live in Dubbo, it is a good place if a bit hot at the moment. Big enough to have all the mod cons but small enough it isn’t a pain to try to get anywhere.

  • No. I applied for this job because I was told it would be in Alice Springs. Not freaking Dubbo.

  • response: why would you have your operations in dubbo knowing no one would fucking move there?

    • Steveo – as a resident of Dubbo, I would be delighted that someone with your level of ignorance would decline the job.

  • A couple of years ago, a friend was asked in an interview in Brisbane if he’d want the job if it was in Adelaide. He answered yes. Then he was offered a job, and told him the job was in Adelaide. He turned the offer down.

  • Would you still want to work at Whisper if you knew everyone came to work nude? And we have mandatory cuddle parties every 3rd Tuesday? And we sacrifice one employee at the Christmas party?

  • I live in Dubbo too after living in Melbourne and Sydney as well it’s no different to living in equivalent suburbia unless you’re a regular in the City for pleasure other than work or going to the casino every weekend.

  • I don’t think its a fair analogy for Australia. Since Ohio is a state and Dubbo is a regional town. In addition Ohio has 5 International Airports and 4 Commercial ones. Dubbo has one which has flights to two destinations: Sydney and Broken Hill. A better parallel would be Tasmania IMHO

  • It’s a great question to sort out who’s lying. If you answer “yes”, you’re lying.

    In reality I would be more diplomatic and respond with something like: My family and focus is in Brisbane at the moment and I’m excited at the prospect of working here at this company and being based in Brisbane. That was why I went for this job. So while Dubbo is quite lovely – my wife and I travelled through there on holiday a couple of years ago – I would prefer to stay in Brisbane.

    At least this will tell the prospective employer more about you than a yes or no answer.

    • It would depend what they’re offering. For a six figure salary, yeah Id move to Dubbo. For $50k, not a chance.

      Same logic as all those people doing a couple of years at the mines – it may suck, but they walk away with a good pile of cash at the end.

  • I would ask: if I wasn’t willing to move to Dubbo, would you risk hiring someone with inferior skills just because they would.

    Do you want someone good, or do you want someone in Dubbo?

    No offence to anyone in Dubbo, of course, but clearly the interviewer is not looking for the best candidate

  • This yet another of those typical “killer” questions which prove to me yet again that HR is really mostly a “nothing” job, and because of this, proponents of it seem to feel that they have to constantly justify their positions with pseudo-psychology, to make what they do seem much more complicated than it really is.

    If you ask this, you’re really just pissing people off.

  • I live near Dubbo (<100km) and I wouldn’t move to Dubbo for a job. six figures or not. It would need to be like 6.5 figures to get me to Dubbo.

  • I don’t understand the hate for these questions. If the interview is full of them fair enough, but there’s nothing wrong with one or two out there questions to get a feel for the personality.

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