Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Let the Animal in You out

As part of one of my courses, I teach interviewing techniques for job interviews. We go over the various types of questions that interviewers can ask. Each year human resources departments come up with a new "flavor of the month" question. Last year it was "Why are manhole covers round?" This year the question was "What animal would best describe you?"

And here you thought that it was lots of studying, knowing the material and having a degree that would get you a job. So, let's see how employable we all are. What animal would best describe YOU?


Orthonomics said...

I heard this question was asked for a shidduch interview. Let's hope the parent/dater/shadchan got this from a human resources seminar and not the other way around.

Bas~Melech said...

Hey, didn't we play this game on B4S a while ago?

Anyway, the answer doesn't really count on this one -- it's how well you talk your way through it. As opposed to the manhole question, which has a definite answer (speaking of which, I strongly recommend Imponderables for this type of trivia.)

Anonymous said...

Bas Melech is onlypartially right. When we ask this question in an interview we are looking to see how well a person communicates. But we are also looking to see if a person thinks before speaking, if they ask questions for clarification, if they can relate the question to the job being interviewed for. How well does the person handle a question that seems to be coming out of left field with no relation to what has been asked before. We are also looking to see if a person will answer "I don't know" as an answer, with the follow up of "Let me think about that and get back to you." The manhole cover question was one of those. We also look for those rare individuals who will tell us "I've never thought of myself as an animal before and I don't think that one animal would be enough to describe me." Occasionally we also get the answer "What animal does this job require me to be?" And we've also had the occasional person who says "What kind of a stupid/dumb question is that for a job interview?" So it's the how and the what that we look at with these questions. And there isn't really one right answer to these questions.

Anonymous said...

I got asked the animal question on an interview last fall. I'd heard about it before so I prepared an answer. I said that I was an octopus. Like the octopus I can multi-task. I have enough hands to handle lots of things at the same time with a few spare hands for when things suddenly come up. My brain size is large enough to coordinate all those hands so the hands aren't just moving around aimlessly. The interviewer did mention that the octopus was a first for him. You should be warned though that there is another new question that is being used--What one thing in your life would you do over if you could? I was kind of thinking to myself that I wouldn't have interviewed for this company but I didn't tell the interviewer that. My octopus brain was working.

Bas~Melech said...

Oh well. Being an incurable Imponderables fan, I would have just truthfully answered the manhole question within 30 seconds. But would that get me a job?

(and no -- go read it yoursef. :-P)