That’s a trick question…there really is only one question an interviewer ever asks: “Why should I hire you and not the next guy through the door?” So when you answer any question, make sure you play up the reasons to hire you.
I’ve recently heard of an employer who likes to ask his interviewees, “If you could be any type of pastry, what type of pastry would you be?” That sound like a really odd question. But this guy is hiring customer service personnel. He wants people who have some personality, who can remain unruffled, keep a sense of humor and think on their feet. So whether you answer jelly doughnut, or bear claw or birthday cake, there really isn’t a wrong answer—except no answer at all. If you answer that question, its your reason WHY that matters.
One person told me that she’d be a banana muffin. A banana muffin is healthy and good for you, but still slightly sweet and fun.
If an employer asks a more serious-sounding question, like where do you see yourself in 5 years? Can you answer that question while answering that one underlying question? Sure. “I see myself here of course, but in a role with some leadership.”
If they ask instead, “What’s the biggest work related challenge which you’ve overcome?” I hear that as “What’s the biggest challenge which you’ve overcome that is like our problems here?” Can I answer that? Yes. So can you.
There one question being asked–but there is a hardest way to ask that question. If they ask directly, “Why should I hire you and not the next guy through that door?” That’s the hardest way to ask the question and you should know how you’d answer. Your answer says a lot about you. Its your brand. My answer: I think “I’m an intelligent person, a creative person who likes to learn and take on challenges”.
Do you know your brand?