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This question had me wondering: How to audition for a singing/acting job without the money to travel to their location?

Is a question like "I want to work for IBM. How can I get an interview?" on target? Is a question like "I want to interview at Google. What specific interview questions will they ask?" on target? Is a question like "Does anyone know if Mom-and-Pop Store offers good benefits?" on target?

I'm trying to understand. In general, is it Ok to ask questions that have relevance for a single company only? Does the size of that one company matter? What kind of consistent guidance can we offer to questioners?

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    I think those questions should be edited to ask how to get a job at a company that has x, y, z features, and using the company name as an example. For example, instead of asking "How can I get an interview at IBM" it should ask "How can I get an interview for a giant company with a global presence, such as IBM?". Those answers are not company-specific, but still have enough data to get an answer that would be specific to that company's unique circumstances. – Rachel Feb 13 '14 at 19:42
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Yes.

Maybe nobody here can answer. That's fine. Just because the question is hard doesn't mean it won't be useful to someone in the future if it can be answered.

The Long Tail

The Workplace should be home to Long Tail questions as well as short tail ones. Stack Overflow would be a far worse place if it said you could only ask about javascript, php, or c++ for instance. The fact that you can get good support for even minor framworks/languages like google-visualization is tremendous.

As we grow, these sorts of questions (and the experts who can answer long-tail questions) should increase if we want to remain a good resource. Deleting these questions now because they are too specific does us no good.

Unanswered is Okay

So maybe none of us works for Disney and can't give a good answer to the question. Maybe we all are stumped by the question and can't give any real advice. That's fine. Unanswered questions don't cause any harm to the system. Most sites don't have a 100% answered rate. If we do, I'd say we aren't challenging ourselves accepting good (but obscure) questions.

But it looks like some of us can actually give it a shot. It looks like Chad has a good grasp on this. With a bit of Google elbow-grease and a bit of effort, he may be able to put together a comprehensive answer (with sources!) explaining how recruiting works for Disney, which may help out hundreds or thousands of future visitors who are looking for that resource.

Don't Worry about Clutter

"But jmac!" I hear you cry, "our gorgeous clean site without blemish will be cluttered by overly specific garbage questions!" Fear not. There are systems in place to handle that:

  • If a question has a negative score, it will be auto-deleted in 30 days
  • If a question has no answers, no score, less than 1.5 views/day on average, and less than two comments it will be deleted in a year

These will be cleaned up if they are just too niche for our userbase. And that's fine! But if someone comes along who can answer it, that is a great way to grow experts for our community in the future.

Caveat Answeror

This does not mean that we should encourage people to include a specific company. This doesn't mean we shouldn't focus on questions being made broad and applicable to more people when possible. It just means that if something really is different and a long-tail question, we shouldn't close it just because we can't answer it.

Keep good questions, even if super-specific.

Edit mediocre questions, to make them in to good questions.

Close bad questions, because they provide no value.

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    Whilst people may be looking for the information, and we may have resources such as chad who are able to answer it, that doesn't mean that it is part of the sites scope. 'How do I get a job at X' just doesn't seem like something we should be accepting as in-scope – Rhys Feb 18 '14 at 8:35
  • To summarise: Questions about a specific company? Sure, if it fits in scope then your above answer applies, but any questions on 'How do I get a job at x' should be out of scope, we are not a hiring or recruiting agency and only the company in question should be providing that information, especially as recruitment processes in a company can and do change – Rhys Feb 18 '14 at 9:24
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    @Rhys "How do I get a job at" is a poor question, but why would "How does Netflix evaluate employees?" be a bad question (since Netflix does have a very different HR policy)? – jmac Feb 18 '14 at 9:54
  • 'How does netflix evaluate employees' fine, but the question in question isnt 'How does disney evaluate employees', the asker said they looked it up on disney, found how they needed to do it, couldnt do that, so came here to ask us if there is another way they can apply to disney other than disneys outlined policies, i dont see why that is on topic to be honest – Rhys Feb 18 '14 at 10:11
  • If we accept company-specific questions about one company, we should accept them for all. That could amount to quite a few unanswered (or poorly answered) questions, as there are many companies out there in the vast wilderness. – Joe Strazzere Feb 18 '14 at 17:49
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    @Rhys, fully agreed that the question as asked wasn't a good question, but I figured the goal was to tackle the more general question. And I think in general, asking about certain companies is perfectly okay for the reasons I outlined (given, of course, that the question itself is on-topic in all other ways). – jmac Feb 18 '14 at 23:35
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    @Joe, totally agreed. I think that in general, most companies do not need that level of specificity (because the rules would be generally applicable to most other companies). If ACME, Inc. is just like most other companies in their hiring practices, editing out ACME, Inc. will be just as useful (and we should encourage that and/or do it ourselves). In the case that there are company-specific aspects to the question that are not widely applicable, that should be allowable at any rate but must be made clear how they are different when asked (or clarified through comment). – jmac Feb 18 '14 at 23:37
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    @JoeStrazzere - I do not have a problem with questions about a specific company provided the answers to those questions would be dramatically different than from the normal expectations of the corporate world. We already have a few questions about the Google way. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Feb 19 '14 at 21:36
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Normally I would say no. But Disney is one of the few exceptions. They have a dramatically different on-boarding and recruiting process than any other company I am aware of. For this reason the advice and methods that apply to the vast majority of companies do not apply to Disney. If Disney was a company of a few hundred or even a few thousand people it may not be valid. But in 2003 when I went through orientation at Disney they employed over 500,000 cast members in the Disney brand companies.

If there exists another company of similar size and global reach as Disney that also uses a non standard recruitment process then I would say that a question regarding them would be acceptable as well.

And the other reason that this question should be on topic is that there is a Good answer to this question that will likely surprise many people, that can help people in the future. This is not as straight forward as it seems.

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    I would rather see the question asked by being specific about what makes Disney's case special, using them as an example, instead of specifically targeting Disney. – Rachel Feb 13 '14 at 19:39
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To be the flip side of the coin to Chad's answer.

No.

Asking how to get a job at Disney is something that only Disney is going to be able to answer at any given point in time.

Questions like these are essentially asking how to get a job, or how to do a specific part of a job (even if that part is applying) and we have long agreed that this is off-topic.

We even have a custom close reason agreeing that asking for the specific of a job, or how to get a job is off-topic and I stand by this decision. Disney may have a slightly different recruiting process but that neither changes the scope of the site or the nature of the question.

Will we allow any company with a slightly different recruitment process to have its own individual tailored questions and answers?

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    It would seem to be easier for questioners to understand the rules if there is a consistent policy, rather than "No, but there is one exception". – Joe Strazzere Feb 13 '14 at 16:43

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