Why do interviewers ask bizarre questions such as “What animal would you prefer to be?” or “What animal do you identify with?” They want to see your personality and mental process, thus they want to undo your game and obtain honest responses (they know you’ve studied good replies to challenging interview questions). They want to make sure you make the best decision possible before hiring you.
There is no such thing as being overly prepared for a job interview, and this includes questions like which animal you identify with. Thinking about the qualities needed to do a good job is a useful pre-interview exercise since it can help you focus your thoughts on how to best answer all of the interview questions.
When thinking of an animal, consider the attributes or functions that can be attributed to it that would be important for that position. Keep your response clear and succinct. You will first name the animal, and then you will describe one or two attributes that you and the animal share. (Do not allow them to come to their own conclusions.)
Some animals to choose from and why:
- Lions. An excellent choice for a leadership job. They are formidable leaders.
- Chimpanzees. They are fast learners and have a lot of energy. They work well in groups, they are team players, they are clever, and they are socially sensitive (which translates to emotional intelligence).
- Elephants. They are incredibly powerful and intelligent (they also have a fantastic memory).
- Dogs. Recognized as man’s closest friend because of their tremendous loyalty and protective nature. Someone in a support role may benefit from having a dog.
- Dolphins. They are extremely intelligent and intuitive, and they can serve as a useful model for problem-solving.
- Horses. They are powerful, intelligent, fast-moving creatures that can work successfully alone or in groups.
- Ants. The most tenacious laborers and team players. They are suited to vocations that need repetitive tasks, but they are also noted for their ability to plan ahead. The ant and the cicada tale comes to mind.
- Eagles: This one needs to be handled with caution. If you’re in sales or a leadership position, an eagle could be a positive sign because you can tell they’re aggressive hunters or that you can see the big picture from up high, but if you’re interviewing for a job, an eagle could be a negative sign.
What creatures should you definitely avoid?
In general, any animal that has undesirable attributes linked with it. Here are some:
- Snakes. These are evasive and terrifying, which is a good trait for a crime boss or drug dealer, but not for you.
- Whales. I enjoy whales, but when they’re spoken in the context of personality, people tend to think of them as fat, bloated or slow.
- Cats. They are self-sufficient, but they are also known for doing little in return as long as they get their way.
- Spiders. Do you set traps and wait for your victim to become trapped in order to consume it alive? Excellent.
- Chickens. They are not particularly intelligent creatures.
- Foxes. We know they are intelligent and cunning. Inquire of the chickens.
- Pigs. While you may adore pigs, they are notorious for being lethargic and untidy.
- Cows. They are sluggish and fragile.
Asking them what animal they would like to be or identify with is a fun approach to end your response to the queries “What animal would you like to be?” or “What animal do you identify with?” It might give you a sense of your probable future boss’s personality.