I was told by a friend of mine that during a recent interview he was asked “Who do you admire most and why?” Can you tell me what the interviewer was trying to determine from that question and my friend’s answer? I understand there is no “right” answer. Still some must be better than others right?
The Career Doctor responds:
First let me refer you to an article I wrote Types of Job Interviews which looks at the common aspects of all job interviews and then takes you through the differences between traditional job interviews and behavioral-based interviews.
The “who do you admire most” types of questions which my partner Katharine Hansen refers to as the “wild-card” or “off-the-wall” questions are meant to see how well you think on your feet whether you will get flustered. While you can prepare for most of the standard interview questions these wild-card questions can catch even the experienced interviewee off guard; thus the key is to not allow yourself to get rattled by it. And you’re right there really are no wrong answers but there are some better answers-
So what’s the better answer? As with all interview answers it’s best to answer in a way that helps you state your cause that you are the right person for the position – perhaps a famous leader where you can discuss the value of leadership and the leadership
traits you have; or perhaps a famous businessperson where you can discuss the value of business acumen and your key business skills; or perhaps an athlete where you can discuss the value of teamwork and your experiences as a team player.
Read up on all aspects of job interviewing – including how to answer common questions – by going to our Job Interviewing Tutorial. Also read Don’t Get Stumped by Off-the-Wall Job Interview Questions and try your hand at composing responses to off-the-wall questions by using our Off-the-Wall/Wild Card Interview Practice Questions.