Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
This is especially true when you are in a job interview and you’re thrown a curveball question like, “If you were an animal, what would you be?”
According to James Reed, author of “Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again,” and chairman of Reed, a top job site in the UK and Europe, the real question here is: “How do you respond when you haven’t had the chance to rehearse an answer?”
He explains that there are endless variations of this query (If you were a superhero, who would you be? If you were a colour, which one would you be? etc.) — but the important thing is to not “let the weirdness throw you off,” he writes. “Have fun — there are very few wrong answers.”
The interviewer’s goal is to see how you think on your feet — or whether you crumble under pressure — since most candidates don’t see this one coming. They may also be trying to gauge your sense of humour or creativity.
“The only way you can go wrong is to clam up, get uncomfortable or mumble something barely intelligible. The interviewer wants to see your personality, so show it to them,” writes Reed.
That’s not to say some answers aren’t better than others.
“The best ones somehow manage to highlight a quality of the animal (or superhero, etc.) that lines up with the skills needed for the job you’re applying for.”
Since it can be difficult to come up with something clever on the spot, you may want to pause to consider your answer before you respond. “You can even say, ‘Give me a moment to think about this one.’ You might even think about getting into the spirit of fun and honest disclosure by asking the same question right back to the interviewer,” he says.
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