Two weeks ago, I had a phone interview for a Study Abroad Advisor position. I could not be more excited to be selected to go on to the next round: a face-to-face interview.
The interviewers had already asked the basic questions: ¨how do you see yourself in 5 years¨, ¨describe a previous challenge you had and how you dealt with it¨, ¨what types of clients you have worked with¨, ¨describe your biggest accomplishment¨, etc. So what is next?
I suppose the next round will be if I was a good fit for the university – with regards to working style, vision, and ethics…
OR they would like to get to know me better as a person, like whether or not I would be a decent and likable co-worker. If that was the case, they may throw some unexpected questions at me (like, describe yourself with 3 adjectives. Hello, I´ve already prepared the answer and they were pleasantly surprised that I was able to come up with the 3 words so quickly).
So I found a quirky list of interview questions from Fastonomy that I will answer quickly right after I finish reading the questions. The responses below are my initial and immediate answers…which I will have to revise later but let´s see how this goes. 3…2…1…VA!
- Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? (Glassdoor)
I am more of a gatherer. I like to observe my surrounding resources first and analyze their usefulness as well as how much effort and energy are required to obtain them. If I see that there is not enough to gather, then I will become a hunter.
- You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? (Glassdoor)
I would be the color purple. It´s not one of the primary colors, but rather a combination of the hot red and cold blue, meaning that it has complexity and flexibility to be both warm and empowering but also cool and soothing.
- We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do? (Quora)
It depends on how I ¨found¨ the ticket. Normally, I don´t buy lottery because I prefer using the money that I earn from my hard work. If I find a ticket, I would not even touch it. However, for the purpose answering the question about budgeting, I will definitely put it into my savings´ account first before sitting down and making a list of things that I would like to spend immediately. I would probably move $10,000 into my checking´s account and make a 3,000-donation towards the Scholarship Program that sent me to college. As for the remaining 7,000, I will save it for my travels in the near future to Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, and Thailand. If I was hired, I would come to work like I had never won the lottery.
- What do you think about when you’re alone in your car? (Glassdoor)
I think about the places and the people that the songs (from my CD) remind me about, while keeping an eye out for the speed limit signs and constantly checking my rear view mirrors to make sure that I maintain a good distance between the car behind me.
(I actually had to Google this one…All that came to mind was Britney Spear´s ¨Hit Me Baby One More Time¨ and the Backstreet Boys…But keep in mind that I was born in 1994 , so I was too young to enjoy all the fun. Not sure if I should mention this.)
As Long As You Love Me, by Backstreet Boys. It is such a feel-good song.
- If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? (Quora)
A feral cat that lives by the sea! Cats are such elegant and calculating animals with a never-ending curiosity. They are independent yet affectionate to those worthy of their trust.
- What was the last gift you gave someone? (Glassdoor)
For Thai Mother´s Day, I gave my mom gift cards to Banana Republic and Loft, which are her two favorite stores. It´s not much, but it the thoughts that count! I hope it will help her buy something that she likes that isn´t on clearance yet.
- What were you like in high school? (Quora)
In class, I was very serious and focused. I paid attention to the lesson 100% and liked to take notes. I was often the last one to turn in the exams because I liked to use all of the time given to check my answers. If there were extra credit opportunities, I would take them even though my grades were already 100. I also wanted to be a well-rounded student, so I volunteered and became the Student Government President. However, with my friends, I either liked to joke around or have deep conversations, mostly about the future.
- What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? (FlexJobs)
I don´t have a TV, but the last thing I watched was an old episode of Narcos on Netflix. I watched it to remind myself how much I loved the show to prep myself for the next season, which will come out on September 1st. I loved this show because it was loosely based on true events and was shot in Colombia, where I would love to go next. I also get to practice listening to Colombian Spanish.
- Any advice for your previous boss? (Quora)
(Shoot, this one is making me think a bit because I don´t want to sound too smooch-y or too harsh. Hmmm.) I would advise her to distribute the hours more evenly among the sales associates, so that no one would end up with a shift that is 9 hours long while her co-worker only gets 4 hours. It is a labor-intensive job that requires one to be on her feet all day, which can be very difficult – even for someone who is in good shape.
- Tell me something about your last job, other than money, that would have inspired you to keep working there. (Quora)
My last job was very flexible when it comes to scheduling. The managers are very understanding and empathetic, and try to accommodates the sales associates´ requests. You can tell that the company and management cares about the employees.
- What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? (Glassdoor)
I was working one day when an older lady came in and asked me to help look for a shirt for her granddaughter since I was about her granddaughter´s age. At the checkout, I asked her how old her granddaughter was, and she said 39!!! I am actually 23.
(Is this appropriate to say at the job interview? Or am I bringing ageism?)
- What do you want to be when you grow up? (FlexJobs)
Like my mom, bilingual, strong, and financially independent.
- Which two organizations outside your own do you know the most people at and why? (Quora)
(OH NOOOOOO. Tough one. If not impossible. Shit) The Erasmus students who were friends with my Puerto Rican roommates and the professional Muay Thai boxers in Madrid because they occasionally come to the same workout classes.
- Pretend you’re our CEO. What three concerns about the firm’s future keep you up at night? (Vault)
Thinking about the upcoming big project, re-imagining leadership style, and having to lay off employees that are not a result of the employees´ actions.
- If I were to hire you for this job and I granted you three promises with regard to working here, what would they be? (Quora)
Providing clear instructions and communications from the beginning, giving honest and constructive feed backs, and opportunities to attend professional development workshops.
- If you don’t get this job, what’s your backup plan? (Quora)
Continue to work at my part-time job while keep applying for jobs in study abroad and international education.
- What inspires you? (Vault)
Self development through gaining new experiences, skills, and knowledge. Being able to pursue my interests in travelling, international education, connecting people together, broaden minds, and empowering others, especially women from under privilege background.
- Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes. (Quora)
I will go a great length for my hobbies! I love watching MotoGP and have been to all circuits in Spain (some twice). I have seen my favorite singer perform in Madrid, Germany, and Barcelona! If I like something, I will find the time and place for it.
- What are you known for? (Quora)
My effort and passion for what I love. Having the grit to achieve my academic, professional, and personal goals.
- What do you work toward in your free time? (Quora)
My next trips! I´m always looking for flight deals and things to do in the cities that I want to visit next.
- What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? (Vault)
(Well, darn, this is a tough one), that I am inspired by my grandmother, who had to end her education at 4th grade because no one supported her and her family told her that education was unnecessary for girls. So I was determined to do well in school despite knowing very little English when I first moved to the US and remain committed to my own education, and hopefully others´.
7.5, which is why I remember to take notes and set reminders!
- Code something from scratch in three hours. Then explain your design and solution. (Quora)
(???? I don´t think this question pertains to me.)
- If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer? (Glassdoor)
I would check the emails´ senders, purpose, and urgency, but with an emphasis on last two. I will answer most urgent one that I requires me to take action first. For example, a student is requesting additional health insurance information because he/she was in a foreign hospital. If the e-mail is mostly informational and does not require me to take responsive actions -even if the sender holds the highest position – I would most likely not reply. For example, I would not reply to an email about a hurricane warning from the Vice President.
- How many pennies would fit into this room? (Vault)
(Hopefully, they won´t ask this.)
- Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday? (Quora)
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
- Estimate how many windows are in New York. (Glassdoor)
1,000,000 windows. (Silly question.)
- How would you value the store on the corner? (Vault)
(I don´t understand the question well… Is it asking me to give a monetary value to the store or for me to give a criteria of what makes a ¨valuable¨ store??)
- How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the U.S. each year? (Glassdoor)
(Ok, I had no idea, so I googled the answer and found a helpful article about how to answer these interview maths´ questions).
- Describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind. (Glassdoor)
It´s bright, like the ray of light from the sun, which is yellow itself. It is associated with warmth and happiness.
- If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why? (Glassdoor)
(I would rather get rid of the U.S. territorials)
- You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant? (FlexJobs)
I would have to take care of it…or hire people to help me to. To raise the funds, I would make an educational program/field trips that charge a reasonable fee and accept donations.
- Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman? (Glassdoor)
Batman, he is more well-equipped and well-researched. He would have studied his enemy and plot for ways to defeat Spiderman.
- How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do? (FlexJobs)
First, I would make sure that they do not feel the need to be on guard. I would encourage them to open up and talk about themselves (as most people like to do), and find out their wants and needs, and how doing something will benefit them.
- A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? (Glassdoor)
¨Excuse me, would you be so kind to get me back to the South Pole??¨