The curveball interview question one exec always asks

Karen DavisKaren DavisHasbro SVP of Global Philanthropy and Social Impact Karen Davis.

You’ve crafted the perfect explanation of your greatest weakness. You’ve thought carefully about where you want to be in five years. You’ve meticulously researched the company, and you’ve got the follow-up questions to prove it.

But if you’re interviewing with Karen Davis, SVP of Global Philanthropy and Social Impact at Hasbro, the toy and game giant, you might be caught off guard.

Her favourite question is one you might not expect from an interviewer. She tells Business Insider she likes to ask candidates: “What is your favourite quote?”

Her work is focused on giving back, she explains — a big part of her job is deciding which organisations and projects Hasbro will help fund — so she’s looking for candidates with “a true sense of passion and purpose.” The quote question, she says, helps her figure out who someone really is, and what they truly care about.

While there’s no right answer, Davis is looking specifically for candidates with an answer.

“You think about the great leaders in this world, and the the ones that we remember most are the ones who have really put themselves out there, trying to invoke change,” she says. She wants her would-be hires to be following in those footsteps. “I want to see that somebody has been looking for sources of inspiration.”

One of her favourite answers, “Winners make it happen, losers let it happen,” came from a candidate who ultimately didn’t get hired — proving that even the best quote can’t guarantee you the gig. But it can help.

“I think it’s just one little way of seeing whether this is really part of someone’s soul,” she explains. “Have they really been following any of these great leaders and trying to understand what made them great?”

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