Is flat earth belief disqualifying for tech jobs?

Expedia FltRth4vr
Apr 29 25 Comments

Let's say you were conducting an interview with an SDE2 candidate, and it was going well (whiteboard coding) and then you found out the candidate was a skeptic about the globe earth because you asked a brain teaser that rested on the assumption that globe theory was correct. How would you evaluate the candidate?

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TOP 25 Comments
  • Expedia FltRth4vr
    OP
    For those that said this is a deal-breaker: can you explain why in a way that would be legally defensible?
    Apr 29 5
    • Pandora scrolllock
      “The candidate was not well-rounded”
      Apr 29
    • Google Bergey Sin
      It raises significant questions about the person's critical thinking skills. Surely these skills are important for a successful software engineer.
      Apr 29
    • New xzUE84
      The candidate can't exercise logic based reasoning and will often use their gut for judgement vs. Facts, research or common sense.
      Apr 29
    • Intel babubhatt
      Lack of scientific, rational thinking. Could not defend positions with well-reasoned logic.
      Apr 29
    • Amazon QkTE33
      I think you misunderstand US employment law. You do not need a legally defensible reason to hire or fire here. It is legally to make decisions based on whims, and to how and fire for arbitrary and unfair reasons.

      The ONLY thing you can't do is make such a decision based on a specific set of protected attributes: race, religion, national origin, etc.

      Aside from that you can be as arbitrary and as unfair as you like, legally. (May have trouble attracting top talent if your develop a reputation for being unfair but that's not a legal problem).
      Apr 29
  • SAP Rigolo
    ‘Flat out’ rejection
    Apr 29 0
  • Uber RomanBoss
    I would actually hire the person right away, because their believe about the earth being flat is the truth.
    Apr 29 3
    • Uber RomanBoss
      And btw I am a data scientist and I’ve proved this using some uber data. Will post it on the engineering blog soon
      Apr 29
    • Intel babubhatt
      Lol
      Apr 29
    • Expedia FltRth4vr
      OP
      Well played
      Apr 29
  • New xzUE84
    Being an idiot is not a protected class, you can reject someone for any reason EXCEPT for race, religion, or gender.
    Apr 29 3
    • Microsoft Rydia
      And political beliefs, sexual orientation and medical xonditions/disability.

      Also veteran status is one I thought
      Apr 29
    • OpenTable Meliodas
      Those vary by state.
      Apr 29
    • Motorola RQKb80
      And age
      Apr 29
  • Uber zhdbwb
    This is a troll right, tell me this didn’t actually happen?
    Apr 29 1
    • Expedia FltRth4vr
      OP
      Not really a troll, more a thought experiment
      Apr 29
  • Intel babubhatt
    Yes. Deal-breaker.
    Apr 29 0
  • Microsoft jT47lg
    If I thought they were serious I definitely would reject them. Same as if someone told me about their religion in a job interview. I would reject them for lack of self awareness and poor judgement about when to speak and shut up.
    Apr 29 0
  • Google jfjfk
    I’d ignore it, your coworkers all likely believe things you consider idiotic
    Apr 29 0
  • New eyhvu
    At least, I listen to his explanation. He might meant that the curvature of space might look flat to our eyes.
    Apr 29 0
  • I wonder if this falls in the same category of those who take the Bible literally. I’m not sure if I would reject a candidate because they believe that we’re all descended from Adam and Eve - despite 23 and me showing otherwise ;) Note to candidates - don’t mention in interviews that you think the earth is flat. Just don’t.
    May 6 0
  • Bird babyeng
    Change the interview question to “prove to me that the earth is flat”. Use it to gain insight into their way of thinking. And if you rightfully see holes in their proof, you can rightfully reject them as a candidate on the basis of lack of problem solving/proof writing skills.
    Apr 29 0
  • Two Sigma oreo yum
    Someone just has to say they believe this for religious reasons and then its discrimination for using it. Might be hard though if the job is to work on Google Earth 🌍
    Apr 29 1
    • PIMCO sMac66
      I've never heard of any religion teaching this (post 1600's). They would need to prove its a sincere religious belief. Simply saying your belief is religious won't hold up in court without additional proof.
      Apr 29