You might think it's just a nice question to break the ice when a prospective employer asks you about your favorite childhood memory. However, you need to treat every question they ask you as a valid interview question.
Asking an interviewee about a favorite childhood memory tells the interviewer what you value and about your character. In many cases, there is a difference between what life experience has taught a person and what values have just always been important to them.
Points to Emphasize
If you are asked this question during an interview, take a deep breath and a moment to think about it. You want to emphasize the positive core values that you have had your entire life.
- Emphasize positive values such as hard work that were instilled in you when you were young.
- Talk about the good things that you did as a child and whether they came naturally. Your interviewers want to know about your character.
- Speak positively about your childhood experiences. Put a positive spin on anything that you might be tempted to speak about negatively.
- In addition to speaking positively, make sure that you confidently answer the question and enunciate clearly.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
Although it might seem like a casual and fun "getting to know you" question, there are important things that you should avoid when answering it.
- Avoid speaking negatively. When talking about your childhood, don't bring up negative experiences. Find something positive to say.
- Do not say that you cannot think of anything. You are being judged on your ability to think on your feet, so take a moment to think and continue.
- The worst thing you can do is stay silent and refuse to answer the question. Do not start talking until you know specifically which memory you will call to mind.
- Do not ramble. Your response to any interview question should be succinct and coherent.
Remember when answering this question to put a positive spin on the memory and use it to highlight a specific strength. Here is a strong example of a great response to this question:
One of my favorite childhood memories was working alongside my dad as he fixed the family cars. Working with my dad taught me the value of hard work and sticking to a project until it is done right. Those moments in my childhood might seem small but they have made hard work and stick-to-itiveness a significant part of who I am today.
Your interviewer can tell a lot about you by something you learned from your childhood or what qualities are ingrained in you.