Killer Interview Question: Would You Rather Be Liked Or Feared?

Killer Interview Question: Would You Rather Be Liked Or Feared?
Image: HBO

If you were king (or Queen), would you be a benevolent leader or would you rule with an iron fist? This week’s KIQ wants to find out.

Being nice may earn you a lot of friends at work but you might end up being a doormat for people to walk all over you. On the other hand, instilling fear into others to get things done can be effective but your reputation will surely suffer.

So if you’re asked the following question during an interview, how would you answer?: “Would you rather be liked or feared?”

For one, the question is not what it seems. As James Reed, founder of one of the world’s biggest job sites, explains, the hiring manager probably wants to understand your leadership style and find out if you have integrity as well.

The best answer Reed recommends is this: “I’d rather be respected”.

This is one of the few instances where it’s completely fine to dodge the question so long as you acknowledge the original framing of the query. This is Reed’s sample response to the question:

“Hmmm, well I certainly wouldn’t want to be feared. I think fear is a terrible motivator: people are often feared because they’re irrational and acting for personal and unpredictable reasons. I definitely don’t operate that way and I wouldn’t like anyone to think I did.”

How would you tackle this question? Let us know in the comments.

[Via Business Insider Australia]


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