Killer Interview Question: If You Were An Animal, What Would You Be And Why?

Another favourite of interviewers everywhere — and another addition to the list of killer questions: If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Picture: Jean-Marc Astesana

Edward Fleischman, chief executive officer of Execu Search tells Business Insider that the question comes up to assess how quickly and creatively a potential candidate can think on their feet.

As such, there's no "wrong" answer, although you'd have to be both brave and quick-thinking to come up with a good explanation for either "Sloth" or "Dung Beetle".

Equally, though, it would be wise to steer clear of more obvious aggressive answers such as "Lion", because while the explanation is easy, that's the point of the question. You're not displaying aggression, but your ability to think in a unique rather than clich├ęd way.

How would you answer the question?


    I had this question in an interview once. I said I would like to be an echidna.
    I regretted my decision when they asked why, as the answer was "Because they eat roots and leaves".

    My interviewers were both female...
    I still got the job though :)

    I would bark back that I thought it was a stupid and inappropriate question.

    Last edited 20/06/14 12:49 pm

      Killer Interview Question Answer:

      Wow, what an interesting premise. Were you home schooled, or did you drop out entirely a very early age and find a pathway from fundamentalist convent to gainful employment later in life?

      You see, children who attend primary school in Australian are taught a subject called "Science", where we learn that all living things can be put into two broard categories: plants, and animals.

      In secondary school, this concept was elaborated on, introducing the complexities of single-celled organisms, viruses and bacteria and how they challenge these categories, but the broad consensus amongst educated adults is that humans are animals.

      So, to answer your question directly... If I were an Animal, I would be a human, because I'm not clinically insane.

      Which brings me to my question of you, do you consider yourself a bacteria, a virus, a vegetable or just totally uneducated?

    Agreed @woofwoof. Most of the time I think the recruiter/hirer is just trying to impress themselves.

    Look for cultural fit and some specialised skill if necessary, but these types of questions are a waste.

    Loving this series of "Killer Interview Questions"

    Seriously, If I'm EVER in a job interview and I get asked any of these questions, I'm going to spend the time between that question until the end of the interview tearing shreds off the lame-ass recruiter who knows so little about the position they're hiring for that they have to resort to half-smart psudo-psych questions of their candidates.

    Here's a bunch of killer interview questions: Questions that pertain to the position that you are hiring for.

    Here's the source of the killer interview questions: The person currently working in that position, or their line manager.

    That's when you stare them straight in the eye and tell them you'd want to be a male Anglerfish. Don't break eye contact until you're done telling them how you spend your whole life searching for a female until you finally find one. You then bite the female and release an enzyme and your jaw melts away until you and the female fuse together and become. One. Single. Entity, receiving nutrients from the female in return for sperm from you.

    With a low voice and a discomforting stare, tell them how you will forever be with the female until death takes you both.

    There's a few business books that represent workplace personalities as animals. Lifehacker looked at this one a few months ago:

    Another one I know of is called Organizational Zoo. Either might help in answering the question, and particularly in justifying your choice of animal.

    My answer?
    "If your organisation is so lame that you could even think that this sort of content free question has any professional or intellectual credibitliy...adios"

    PLEASE STOP these articles, seriously, enough guys. Such a waste of time.

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