Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This comic is a take on the common and cliched job interview question here asked by Hairbun: Where do you see yourself in 5 years. The interviewer is attempting to see where the job seeker would like to take their career and also what their hopes and dreams are etc.
In the comic, instead of explaining where he would like to be in 5 years, Beret Guy and the interviewer wait around for 5 years without moving to find out. And as Beret Guy expected they stayed exactly where they were. (This could be suggesting that most people do not change much over five years.)
The title text is a continuation of their conversation in which Beret Guy turns down the job because he wants to find out what happened the last 5 years while they were both sitting in that room.
Given Beret Guy's ability to manipulate reality (1099: Tuesdays), it's possible he froze himself and the interviewer for 5 years.
Other job interviews were portrayed in 125: Marketing Interview, 1094: Interview, 1293: Job Interview and 1545: Strengths and Weaknesses.
- [Hairbun and Beret Guy sit across from each other at a desk. The woman has a bun.]
- Hairbun : Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Beret Guy: Oh man, I don't know! Let's find out!
- [The characters stare at one another.]
- [Cobwebs and hair grow; the desk and chairs fall into disrepair.]
- [Five years pass.]
- Beret Guy: Hah—
- Beret Guy: I thought so!
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- So is the interviewer dead?!?! Tebow Time, Twice a Day. 17:11, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I think the comic invokes additional satire on the length of 'the standard interview', and the time wasted in adhering to the template, given that originally, the whole point of an interview was to judge a candidate on a person by person basis - understanding him/her on a human level, and figuring out where the position fit into their "big pictures".
Disagree. I think the comic is simply poking fun at the "Where do you see yourself in ___ years?" question which is very common in job interviews. Instead of speculating on the future, Beret Guy - who has shown himself to be a weird hippyish type with nonstandard approaches to life - decides to wait for the passing of five years in order to find out. There is a secondary joke that, after the five years have passed, he says "I thought so!", implying that at the interview he did indeed speculate on where he would be in five years: still sitting there, not having moved, and waiting for the five years to pass. Very meta. 220.127.116.11 10:50, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
Fridge Horror: Beret Guy and the interviewer must have both sat motionless as spiders crawled on their faces, erecting webs. I can't get the image out of my mind now. :s 18.104.22.168 05:33, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlor / Drinking milkshakes cold and long / Smiling and waving and looking so fine / I don't think you knew were in this song / And it was cold, and it rained / So I felt like an actor / And I thought of Ma / And I wanted to get back there / Your face, your race / The way that you talk / I kiss you, you're beautiful / I want you to walk 22.214.171.124 14:35, 2 August 2017 (UTC)