Funny enough this question definitely captures a place in the list of top 25 weird questions in an interview. This question hardly seems like one that is needed to be asked during an interview. Why would interviewer want to know what kind of animal you would want to be? Do you not feel that instead ‘What kind of an employee are you’ is a logical think to ask? At one point, every single person going through an interview with this question may think of it so. Very few people actually end up with a sensible answer tactfully. However, a large number of people are stuck in this stage of the interview. As a result, they lose the opportunity right away.
Did you know? The recruiters made some of the weird questions over a decade ago and they gave an answer based on their perception. And most interviewers plainly go through the model answer and expect the employees to stick to it. Of course, it is not possible to come up with an expected answer from static perception. Today we have great amount of talented employees. So it becomes difficult to construct an answer that is approved by the panel of recruiters (recruiter). Therefore, the question arises that how will you answer a question like ‘if you were an animal, which animal would you want to be?’
How To Answer- There You Go:
1. First reaction rules:
The first ever-possible reaction that we tend to give when nervous is the petty laugh, with a nervous forced smile. Do you have any idea as to how much of a turn off it is to see such a laugh when you are expecting something far better? This feeling of disappointment is not a foreign feeling at all. Occasionally you tend to feel this because the world never moves the way you expect it to. Well, let us get back to the point. On a similar note, when you enter a cabin for an interview, your interviewer expects to have a set of people who can just simply answer rather than showing their discomfort. The worst way to begin is by making the interviewer speak more. Just like the exams in school, interviews are the second places where you are supposed to speak more than your interviewer. Of course, that would not be possible if you continue with the frown in disguise of a nervous laugh. Therefore, it is time to begin with a little change. What change am I talking about over here? Follow and we will see.
2. Reaction matters:
Have you ever been asked a question during your school time, to which you had no answer? To top it off, have you observed the look your teacher used to give when you did not answer a question even after she explained the entire thing? Well, if you were observant enough then you sure must have had a look at that expression, which screamed disgust. Well, that does sound a little over-dramatic. Back to the point-, that is the same feeling of the interviewer. However, the interviewers make sure to cover their emotions very well. Thus, the way you react needs to be calm and composed move. Do not let them catch hold of you even if you are nervous. If they are asking weird questions then take a little time to compose every possible point in your head. It is not wrong to think before answering; however, refrain from taking more than 45seconds at most. You might think more than that and the interviewer would count you as dumb!
3. Rationalize everything (every single aspect):
45 seconds are a little too short, right. Well, just ask your friend to wait for 45 seconds before answering you. Let us take a better example. What happens when the signal turns red? That is an easy job. You can simply stop. How long do you have to stop? Sometimes you stop for about 60 seconds at least. You do realize how painful those 60 seconds of wait is. If yes, then that is the condition of your interviewer. Therefore, learn to rationalize your thoughts. Put together everything thing that comes to your mind when you think of the given question.
4. Practice makes a man perfect (works for woman too):
Practice makes a man perfect is one of the most used phrases of all time. Well, there is a reason as to why it is used that often. Practice actually helps you in understanding and mastering any possible skill. Solving or tackling any question needs practice. Thus, prepare while you are at home. Call your friend and ask him to ask some weird work related interview questions. These mock interviews are best way to judge your place.
5. Preparation is the other half of practice:
Some people believe that preparing and practicing are similar. Sorry to kill your bubble but they are not the same. To practice is to rehearse something but to prepare is to train you for something. See, you can rehearse a role for acting whereas you cannot rehearse to be actor. You need to train yourself to be an actor. Thus, train yourself to rationalize all the aspect within given period.
Now these common aspects apply to most of the weird questions. Let us focus on the animal question. What animal would you choose to be, if you were ever reincarnated in the future? Seems like a tough question. Let us simplify it by following a certain pattern.
How to answer, ‘If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?”
You need to have something in your mind first. Entering an interview cabin in itself should make you feel like entering an exam hall. Do not enter like a defeated student who has not studied; instead, enter like a king. Anyways, apart from the physical factor and rationalizing thought process, you also need to think quickly and speak. So many people around you might be having skills equal to yours. You need to convince your interviewer with your answer. Therefore, follow the simple method of understanding the objectives, analyzing the skills and qualities, comparing with the animal of matching skills, scanning for a real life example and a future promise. Yes, these are the simple ways to construct a perfect answer. Let us discuss it further.
1. Understand the objectives of the question (Behind the scenes):
What might be the reason for the interviewer to come up with such a weird question? May be it is not weird at all. In fact, it is a creative way of asking you about your skills and about how you perceive yourself to fit in the company with those skills. The objective is to understand the depth of your viewpoint and analytical thinking. Moreover, these kind of questions also portrays how you work under pressure or how well can you handle the pressure. Therefore, the objective plainly is to understand your skills, your ability to take the situation in your favor (which may be handy in dealing with clients). I advise you to keep an open mind and think on the wider context.
2. Analyze your skills and qualities:
We have had enough of questioning the objectives. Now come to yourself and think about your skills. What are your skills? Analyze your internal self and try to figure out all the possible qualities that you possess. If you focus well then you would definitely be able to come up with more than 10 qualities. Once you list down the qualities (well I suggest this thing to be done at least a day before the interview; the sooner the better), figure out the once that will be helpful in the job that you have applied. The more relatable qualities, the better you would be able to sell yourself to the recruiter.
3. Compare skills with the animal of your choice:
Choose the animal that fits perfectly with the skills that you have or need in the company. At the end, there is a list of animals and their trait for some extra help.
4. Scan yourself (memories) for a real life example:
Now, you know any question requires an example for a better explanation. If the example is presented effectively then there is not a single thing in the world that might ruin your chance at this interview. Your example should be based on reality. (We all have one such event where we utilized one of our qualities). Think and figure out your quality. Make sure to use it with appropriate example in context with your job.
5. A future promise (make it right away):
This is the best part of the answer. Promising is something that we are very much used too and so it is a bit easier too.
Animals and Their Traits:
Following are some animals with their traits to use as examples while comparing your skills depending on the type of job.
An elephant is a multi-tasking animal. Elephant trunks are capable of doing many hardcore jobs that are not limited to breathing or water spraying. Elephant trunks help in swimming, smelling, touching, making various sounds, lifting objects, and so on. These multi-tasking abilities can be best way to define yourself during an interview, as they are one of the most desirable skills for an employee. Moreover, elephant trunk can lift up to 700+ pounds but at the same time, it can handle delicate tasks like mere touch. Therefore, you can take it as an example to explain your ability to adapt any new environment and work according to the culture and system of the new place.
Dolphins are species that can be taken into account while comparing you for a good and humanitarian job. Dolphins are known for their self-sacrifice and selflessness. They are best rescue team of all times. Even during times when they find someone is injured or needs help, they always initiate. At the same time, dolphins are known to be a part of a pack and always are there to back up each other in any situation. This can be used as an example to indicate how good or exceptional you are when it comes to handling team tasks. Moreover, each dolphin has a unique feature in them. Similarly, you can use it for convincing your interviewer that you may have similar skills (like other candidates) yet you are significantly different.
Cows are another set of animal that are known for their dedication towards their child. One can easily compare the similarities by counting oneself as the cow and show their loyalty towards the company they will work for in the future. Moreover, cows have 360-degree vision, which can be compared to your way of thinking and perception towards any new project. You can claim to be a multi-dimensional person who takes in account every single aspect of the work.
Dog are known for their loyal feature and friendly nature all around the world. Therefore, it is the first thing that you may focus on while comparing yourself to a dog. However, do you know that the dog is sensitive enough to sense any danger from a little far away? Therefore, this another quality of foresight can help you tell the interviewer about your ability to foresee the problems or obstacles in your way and tackle them tactfully.
Yes, the king of the jungle stands tall and ready to fight. Moreover, even after being strong and mighty they never leave the hand of their pack. Instead, they make sure to take the entire group with them and make sure of the safety of others. Well, there you go. Compare those qualities with you being a skillful leader and good team worker. Any company would definitely need employees like that.
Always remember to choose animals that fit well and have a good impression. In addition, do not forget that they asked for an animal not a bird. Eagle might be a mighty bird but answering eagle would make you look dumb because it is not an animal.
If I ever was to transform into any of the animal I wish to be an Elephant. Elephant is huge and along with its huge self, it has a valuable asset i.e. his trunk. I would love to have a multipurpose trunk that can access me in all kind of work. I am a multi-tasking person and I blend well with any atmosphere. Thus, elephant seems more relatable. (Add any example of your choice from your life.)