Killer Interview Question: What Sports Do you Play?

In this week’s KIQ, we look at a question that you wouldn’t expect to hear during an interview.

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Being asked about what sports you play is generally reserved for backyard barbeques and other social outings where you’re likely to make new friends. Sports is a classic small talk topic and you wouldn’t think your potential employer would care that you’re actually care that you play soccer every Thursday with your mates.

But Salesforce’s regional vice-president for platforms and services in Asia-Pacific, Robert Wickham, wants to know. He started his career as a management consultant and sat in on numerous interviews.
Wickham isn’t a fan of trick questions, but he doesn care about finding out more about an interviewee’s personality.

“When I interview someone, I look at demonstrated recod of success, their subject matter expertise, and cultural fit,” Wickham told Lifehacker Australia. “The first two are easy to figure out – you just have to look at their resume and records. Cultural fit is harder to figure out, so I spend time asking questions that will help me find out, such as ‘What sports do you play?’

He also likes to follow up with more questions.

“If they play squash, I will ask how they get better and what’s their routine to become a better squash player.”

How would you answer that question in an interview? Maybe you don’t even play sports, so how would you respond if that’s the case?

Spandas Lui travelled to Dreamforce in San Francisco as a guest of Salesforce.

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