Scene: Me sitting in an interview. In walks my interviewer who slightly resembles Steve Guttenberg from Police Academy – except my guy has a lazy eye. And the questions begin:



1: Do I sing in the Shower?


(Ummmm.. Anyone who claims to have NOT attempted Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” in the shower at least once is a liar. Don’t deny it).



2: If I could be a barnyard animal what kind would I be?


What kind of questions are these!!? Can I file an HR claim without having been hired because these seem a little strange and
personal – perhaps even a little out of line. And why JUST barnyard animals? No love for sea creatures?



As I was escorted from the building I pondered how I might have answered each question differently. And then it occurred
to me – perhaps these questions are super beneficial to the hiring process? And as usual upon doing some intense research (Wikipedia), I discovered that the behavioral interview question and the stress interview question have become the “go to” method for a lot of companies in determining the ability to think under pressure, personality/cultural fit, moral compass, etc.



Nerve wracking? HECK YEAH…. But my friends the ugly truth is:



YOU SHOULD (read must) PREPARE YOURSELF FOR THESE TYPES OF QUESTIONS.


Here are a few to get your blood pumping:


  • Do you sing in the Shower? (Read above – Beyonce, Journey, and I do a mean Janis Joplin)
  • If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be? (I’ve been dying to say sea cucumber just to gauge the response)
  • What is your most memorable purchase and why did it make you feel good?
  • If you had only six months left to live, what would you do with the time? (Obviously interviewing is at the top of the list since I’m sitting here with you)
  • If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?
  • If you could have dinner with a famous historical figure, who would it be? (Is Elvis considered a historical figure?)
  • If you were a car, what type would you be? (If I say limo with a driver, is that still considered “a car”).
  • If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? (The power to erase my answers from your memory?)
  • See this pen? You have 5 minutes to sell it to me. (You already own the pen!! Why don’t you tell me why you
    bought it!)

Ok – so obviously my answers are merely for entertainment value, but we must face it friends. These questions could crop up and I simply want you to be prepared as your advocate and Headhuntress. Perhaps throw them a curveball and ask them if they could star in any Bill Murray movie – what would it be? (If it’s Meatballs – RUN!!)


















Views: 26

Tags: behavioral, interview, questions, stress

Comment by Shelli Gutholm on February 23, 2010 at 9:18am
Kelly is so entertaining to read and a FORCE to work with!!!
I have had the pleasure of working along side her (remotely) and she has proven to be a hard working, insightful agent who can find the right people for the right jobs quickly!
However, the fact that she doesn't take her self too seriously is refreshing and she makes work FUN! how many people can say that?
Comment by Meghan Mulhearn on February 23, 2010 at 11:07am
Yes, dancing in the shower is another story.
Comment by Vickie Elmer on February 23, 2010 at 1:22pm
Those questions allow candidates to show an ability to improvise - and maybe a sense of humor. Also handling the unexpected. I wrote about this a while ago for the Washington Post under the headline: "Fielding an interview curve ball." Here's a link:
http://bit.ly/bwYkmL
Comment by Randy Levinson on February 23, 2010 at 5:17pm
I think we've all fielded questions like this with mixed results, and Vickie and Kelly are not the only ones who wrote about it (http://bit.ly/9Rh0AD) but you're right Kelly. Like it or not we do have to be prepared to answer these crazy questions. It's like and old MAD Magazine section (Dating myself here) "Snappy answers to stupid questions" you gotta wonder - if they've got the nerve to ask the questions, do they have the nerves to hear and properly evaluate the answers?

As for me I think I'd be in Groundhog Day. 'Cause if I get this question wrong today I can always try again tomorrow.

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