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What animal would you be if you were an animal?

A new trend began in the late 80’s and early 90’s to ask stranger and stranger questions. The goal is to put a potential employee off stride, thus testing their ability to think and react under pressure. This specific question also gives an interviewer insight into how a person perceives themselves. It came into use as an interview question after people like Barbara Walters made it famous in her celebrity interviews.

Avoid animals with negative connotations such as a snake (sneaky) or hyena (untrustworthy) unless of course the job requires those qualities. A salesman may not want to be perceived as a snake, but if you’re going for a job as a repossession agent, being sneaky is a positive.

“I blend in, and then when they’re not looking, when they least expect it, I strike, the car is mine!”

Cuddly animals may sound nice, but it’s not something needed on a job unless it’s a nurturing job.

“Students love me because, while I know how to teach, I’m approachable and often help them solve their problems. They can talk to me like a favorite stuffed teddy bear.”

Research into the job allows you to relate the animal to the position in question. But the best animal answers denote qualities such as strength, intelligence or leadership.

“I’m a lion, I let people do their own thing but my staff knows when to stop discussing and start listening, that’s my roar.”

“I like to consider myself a dolphin, the smartest animal. There’s no problem I can’t solve.”

“I’m the lead elephant. When something needs to be done, I trumpet the charge into action.”

“Big jobs don’t scare me, I take them one step at a time, pecking away at them like a woodpecker until they’re finished.”

For certain jobs, such as those requiring hard, repetitive work, other animals are more appropriate.

“I’m like an army ant, put me to a task with the team, and nothing can stop me. I put my head down and get the job done.”

Good animals include:

• Tiger – Intelligent / street smart
• Monkey – Intelligent / nimble
• Fox – Clever, but with a hint of dishonesty
• Lion – Regal, commanding
• Elephant – Leader, unstoppable, great memory
• Ant – Hard worker
• Dolphin – Intelligent

Generally bad animals (at least for this question) include:

? Snake – Sneaky and dishonest
? Whale – Bloated
? Sloth – Lazy

One poor answer given was “I think of myself as an apple, wait, is that an animal?”

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