What Kind of Animal Are You?

Perhaps I should rephrase that! If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?

This sort of question had been used since the early nineties in job interviews and even in speed dating in some form or other. The aim was to put the interviewee off their stride, make them show if they were good at thinking on their feet and, perhaps, to get an insight into how they saw themselves.

Now tell me if I am being cynical, but if I knew that this sort of questioning was going on I think I would have my ‘animal’ answer all lined up.

Job requires leadership? Then I’ll say I am the lead elephant, and the others will follow. Job requires perseverance? I might say I’m an ant, that no matter what obstacles there are I will get the job done.

I guess no one would say they were a hyena, a sloth or a snake!

In relationships obviously the angle changes, if you are asking you are really hoping for an insight into the other person’s personality. If you are answering, you might want to show a softer side, or a caring side, this goes for men as well as women, and animals suitable for a job interview would not necessarily carry the right connotations  in a relationship – I bet there are far more (wolves) teddy-bears (oh, I’m just a great big teddy bear) and (cougars) kittens than there are in job interviews.

So, what kind of animal would you be, if you had no one to fool but yourself?

I confess that I ended up thinking that I really would be a hedgehog, after all. Why? Because I am a shy person by nature, as are hedgehogs, and that shyness is a vulnerability, like the soft vulnerable furry tummy of a hedgehog, and to protect that shyness I have grown the spines of an extrovert and gave  myself the defensive mechanism of rolling into roles that can hide my shyness beneath a ‘job’ in what ever social organisation I am in. As an answer I don’t think it would get me past the job interviewer but as an insight into my own behaviour, that took me many years to find, it is such a valuable tool in understanding my responses and reactions to events and people. Recognition is the first stage to modification, if that is what you want to do.

Have you thought what animal you would be? Dare you say?

Have you ever had to answer this sort of question in an interview, what did you come up with or were you prepared and what did you say?

I’d love to hear from you all, anecdotes welcome!

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14 thoughts on “What Kind of Animal Are You?

  1. Personally I consider myself to be a Human (Homo sapiens sapiens).

    I think that that would be an excellent answer in an interview.

    – put the interviewer off their stride, make them show if they are good at thinking… 😛

  2. I was asked one of those – what “xxx” do you think you most resemble, at a job interview, except that it was “supermarket product” because the interview was for a job in a supermarket. (I wasn’t aiming high at the time!) and quite frankly, for my response to the question, I was with Groucho – if they wanted to know that, then I didn’t want the job.

    So I actually answered something to the effect of . . . you are joking, right? This is for a job in a supermarket for goodness’ sake. I’m going to be doing a boring repetitive job and you want to know if I see myself as a ready-meal or a tube of toothpaste?? Well, no, I didn’t say that, but I also didn’t give him an answer, so no tick in that box! But, I got the job.

    And since you asked, even after taking ages and ages to think about it, I still don’t know what animal I am, although perhaps a sloth sitting on a fence might fit, no, make that a sloth with a shell (if such a thing exists) to keep the outside world at bay, doing nothing much, but upsetting nobody. There again, since I can’t specify an animal I guess that just means that I have no imagination. Yup, that fits!

    Still, I do like your explanation of the hedgehog phenomenon, and I also like GPM’s notion for in an interview, coming out of left-field with ‘Homo sapiens sapiens’ show them smart alecs who’s smart, eh? LOL

  3. Ha! With my interviewing skills, I’d be the one to say cougar. Not because I’m a cougar in the cultural sense, or because it shows any insight into myself, but because mountain lions are my favorite animal, lol.

    I’m not really sure what animal would show insight into myself either. Perhaps a packrat? Not only for the obvious reasons (which I’m improving with) but also because I’ve heard they have some what of a live and let live motto (they are known to share their nests with other mice and even bugs which are not competing for resources). For those critters which won’t breed and take over, I take a similar stance. For others, I relocate them.

    • Thanks for the comment and, if you aren’t thinking about what others might make of your answer, a favourite is probably the one most would pick. Packrat! that caused me to look it up (heard the name but had no idea what they were as don’t have them here) Fascinating – love the idea that they have a real butterfly mind, see something they like, drop what they are carrying, pick up new shiny thing OOhh! And that they can help paleobotanists and zoologists through their well preserved middens! Thanks for that .. I will be reading more! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pack_rat

  4. I hate these kinds of questions!! The one I’ve been asked is what color in the crayon box is most like you … I always say tan. It’s needed and important, but frequently overlooked. LOL … Must be my shy side talking! I’d rather be in the background making sure the job is done than being on stage telling everyone what needs to happen next!

  5. hi I personally consider my self a wolf or a horse becuase I really love to run and play hide and go seek when I’m bored or read a book and sleep what do you think.

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