“If you could be an animal, what animal would you be and why?”
This is one of the questions I ask every potential employee and intern during the interview process. The answer will tell me more about their personality than any standard question such as, “What do you like to do with your free time?” First, the animal question causes them to think fast on their feet since they aren’t expecting it. Second, it tells me their level of creativity – very important in our business. Sometimes I even do this exercise with clients when developing a brand, it gives you greater insight of the company personality.
So for example if the interviewee answers, “bird – because I could see everything that’s going on from above.” I might deduct they are nosy, have a superiority complex and have a low level of creativity. It’s not that some birds aren’t creative, but they didn’t even specify what kind of bird.
However, if they answer, “Platypus – because they are the only one of their kind” I step back and say, “hmm, interesting – tell me more”. This answer tells me they have a sense of humor and if there’s a story to go along with that answer like, “The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, that some considered it an elaborate fraud. It is one of the few venomous mammals; the male Platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans.” Now that’s creative!
Here are some other answers that raised an eyebrow:
Bunny – “Because they’re so cute” A lot of thought went into that answer I’m afraid.
Dog – Lazy or loyal?
Cougar (in a tree) – “why” I asked hesitantly, “so I can see them coming” she said. Need I say more?
Liger – Straight from the movie Napoleon Dynamite … creative, funny and it’s an actual animal (in case you were wondering).
So, what animal would you be and why?