I'm in the middle of trying to hire a new assistant - AGAIN. It seems like every time I get close to having someone fully trained, something happens and I have to start over. I can't blame my latest assistant for taking a new job, though: it is closer to home and will enable her to spend more time with her family. But it stinks for me while I am doing two jobs and trying to go through the agonizing process of trying to pick the right person by predicting their future.
Anyway, I have a lot of interviewing experience. I was the primary hirer for the restaurant I worked at, so I conducted hundreds of interviews there. Most of them were very short, so I tried to get the most information in the shortest amount of time there. Now I have more time to conduct in-depth interviews, but I find myself falling back on some of the same questions I've always used. In the middle of this time, a colleague of mine is about to have his own interview for a much better position. So I've been helping him prepare with a little role-playing and question-answering.
So it felt like lightning struck yesterday. All of a sudden the perfect interview question came to me: who is your favorite superhero, and why? Comes off as mundane or even silly, right? But in the right hands... the answer to that question can reveal a lot about a person.
I believe that the way you answer that question either reveals your personality, or the ideals that you hold in high esteem. Here are some of the answers I have gotten from good-natured people who have agreed to answer:
1) Superman. Why? Because he's the biggest, strongest, can fly, leap tall buildings, etc.
The funny part? This guy used to be a professional basketball player.My take? He idealizes the perfect athlete, the guy who can't be beat, the person who has every ability he needs.
2) Iron Man. Why? Because he's the coolest guy in the room, but he fights for what he believes in.
This guy is a talker. You know, the guy who is comfortable in any room. You can already see the correlation. However, the underlying drive to protect and provide is always there.
3) Green Lantern. Why? Because he has a ring that lets him create whatever he wants.
I don't know this guy very well, but I thought it was interesting that he went straight for the "whatever he wants" angle. What he wants is the power to be able to do what he wants.
4) Catwoman. Why? Because she gets what she wants.
I thought that was pretty self-explanatory.
5) Superwoman. Why? Because she's a woman.
Interesting to me, because she picked a rarer superhero, but Superwoman has the power of Superman but represents the power of women in a normally male-dominated genre. Maybe like the workplace?
So could the connection be tenuous? Sure. But I'm convinced it's a great way to get people to talk about their personalities without realizing it.
So what's your answer?