Everyone knows that when you go for a job interview that you are opening yourself up to judgement and analysis. I never quite understood how important my answers to the seemingly irrelevant questions actually were.
This lecture had me reflecting on my previous job interviews and the self portrait that I painted for those potential employers. In working through some of the abstract interview questions, I was able to see how the answers to those seemingly unimportant questions could in fact determine whether or not you fit the desired mould (Sincoff, 2004). However, I feel that I am now feel that, should such questions ever arise in my professional career, I am equipped to critically answer and justly portray my personal attributes.
While these questions may help an employer/ collaborator uncover their perfect employee or partner, I actually found that this kind of critical thinking revealed things about myself that I had never thought to analyse or relate to particular characteristics- exemplified below.
If you were a part in a car, which part would you be?
If I were a car part, I would be either the headlights or the steering wheel. Headlights are because I like to be able to see what is ahead, I hope to bring a bit of light to any situation and when something unexpected is thrown at me, I want to be able to face it head on. The steering wheel is essentially the ‘director,’ it controls the direction of the car and is key to getting occupants to the desired destination.
What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Prepared meals, blueberries, apples, veggies and something sweet! I am very active and busy, often leaving home before 5am for training followed by a full day at uni or work and, with another training session in the afternoon/ evening, I am lucky to return home before 7pm. Given my jam-packed schedule and desire to stay healthy, connivence and preperation is key, hence the prepared meals that are ready for me to just grab and go each morning. I do, however, have a massive sweet tooth! So you will definitely find something sweet (chocolate!) in my fridge too.
I think these answers provide a relatively deep insight into the kind of person I am and demonstrate qualities that may or may not be appealing to employers. For example, being the steering wheel in a car might highlight my ability to take charge and be a leader. Though, another employer/ collaborator could see this as an inability to take direction or work well in a lower ranking position. My ‘refrigerator’ answer might show that I am efficient and organised, or that I am overcommitted and always on the run which could lead to a lack in attention to detail.
At the end of the day, the interpretations of such answers are up to the interviewee and are dependent on the purpose of the questions (Sincoff, 2004).
Sincoff, M. (2004). The dyadic interview project. Business Communication Quarterly., 67(2), 206.