“If You Could Be Any Animal, Which Animal Would You Choose?”


Yesterday I was speaking to a candidate that I was preparing for an interview with one of my healthcare clients and we were discussing the interviewing process. 

As we all know, interviewing for a job or interviewing to hire someone can often be a delicate and sometimes complicated event.

I’ve written in previous blogs about interviewing and some of the incredibly ridiculous interview questions that have been asked.

So yesterday this candidate told me about another absurd interview question that she was asked on an interview that nearly floored me.  She asked me for advice in answering the following question:

“If You Could Be Any Animal, Which Animal Would You Choose? 

How do you answer a question like that?  Do you start making mental images of the following:

Nah.  How about:

Pretty cute, huh? 


What in the world could you possibly learn about someone by asking that question?  Something cute?  I don’t think so.

Isn’t the interview process a fact finding vehicle to determine whether to hire a candidate or to accept a job offer (if you are a candidate)?  What could you possibly learn by asking this question?

So my response to this candidate about how to answer this question gave me pause but I gave her what I think my response might be if I were asked this question on an interview.

I would probably say something like this:

“Wow, that is an “interesting” question.  Let me think for a moment about an animal that embodies the qualities that I admire most, such as high integrity, loyalty, responsibility, coolness under pressure, resourcefulness, creativity, etc.  I would have to say the human animal ……….but if I have to pick an animal, I would say a ………dog.   I have had many dogs in my life and I have loved them all.”

A little sappy but, come on.  What a ridiculous and almost impossible question to answer.

Hey employers out there: please do not ask boiler plate and insulting questions like this one! 

Ask intelligent questions to learn about a prospective new employee.  Ask the necessary questions that you need to ask to find out if a candidate has the skills necessary, has high intergrity, makes good decisions and is a good culture fit within your organization.

Any questions or comments? I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at ceo@psihealth.com