Job Search Tip of the Week #8 (2018)

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How to Ace Your First-Round (or Really, Just About Any) Interview

Think Like an Interviewer – Q2


Next time you’re in the bookstore, stop at the autobiography section. Doesn’t each title seem to perfectly capture the personality of its author?

That’s why “If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?” is a favorite question of interviewers (in fact, it was even asked during the 2018 Miss America competition). It’s designed to figure out who you are as an individual, and whether or not you’d be a good cultural fit.

For example, if you asked two job candidates this question and one responded, “All I do is win, win, win no matter what” and the other said, “Something from Nothing: This and Other Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Scrabble” who would you hire? The former comes across as arrogant and narcissistic, not to mention unoriginal (ripping off DJ Khaled) and superficial (after all, the next lyric is “Got money on my mind, I can never get enough”) – four traits you definitely don’t want in an employee or team member. The latter gives the impression that the candidate is a resourceful, resilient, and calculated risk taker.

So although there is no “right” answer for this brain-teasing curveball interview question, unlike many of the others, this is one where your answer is just as – if not more – important than your approach.

The reasoning behind this question is twofold. The interviewer first wants to see how you handle being thrown something you’re not prepared for (can you have fun and be creative? Or do you get tongue twisted under the pressure?), and next, what you come up with. So take a breath and think about the highlights of your career and life stories. Keeping in mind that your response says a lot about you, make sure it highlights your personality, priorities, and positive qualities. If you did your research and are able to relate your autobiographical title back to the company’s core mission and values, even better!


Sound Off: What would the title of your autobiography be?


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Image Credit: Meaww