How to Answer "If You Were An Animal, What Animal Would You Be??" Interview Question
An interview technique was developed during the 80?s and 90?s which involved asking candidates very odd questions which they simply would not expect to hear. The intention was to put the prospective employee in a difficult or odd situation to test their ability to respond under pressure. The unexpected question would also give the interviewer better insight into the candidate’s real behaviour as their answer will be off-the-cuff rather than prepared. The animal question noted above does just this and became popular after chat show hosts used it when interviewing celebrities.
If you’re asked this question there are relatively obvious answers to steer clear of, for example snake which is likely to suggest you have a sneaky side, or fox which might indicate you are untrustworthy. There may of course be situations when these attributes, which are often considered negative, are positive for example if applying for a job as a private detective.
“I am camouflaged and unoticed until I have the information I require, and then I can slide away and report on what has been found!”
Fluffy or cuddly animals are unlikely to make a great impression as you’ll sound like a push-over, although again there may be roles such as nurturing jobs, where this is a benefit.
“A fluffy bunny, because I am approachable and able to calm a situation rapidly, but I am also consistent and reliable.”
If you have carry out some basic research into the role, you’ll be able to identify which attributes are likely to be required to be successful in the position, and be better placed to refer to an animal example. The most useful answers to the animal question intimate qualities such as strength, intelligence or leadership.
“I would say lion – I develop a strong team and let each member get on with their job, but I am prepared to step in – to roar – when necessary to make sure we are all pulling together in the right direction.”
“I am a dolphin – a smart animal that uses initiative to overcome problems and works well in a team.”
“I’m the queen bee. I have an important role to play putting the right people in the right place and oversee the consistent development of the hive.”
“I would be a tortoise – I weigh up the options, chose the correct route and keep trudging along with the workload until I have completed the task.”
Jobs requiring repetitive work may use the following example.
“I’m the worker ant – give me a job to do and I will continue to do it again and again until the task is complete.”
Other examples of animals and their conotations are listed below;
• 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
Animals which you should probably avoid are:
– Snake – Sneaky and dishonest
– Whale – Bloated
– Sloth – Lazy