Unless you were created in a test tube on the day of the job interview, chances are you have a history of your life that the interviewer would like to explore. Job interview questions about your past are a good way to discover not only who you are as a person, but how well you prepared for interviews and how open you are about yourself.
Who Inspired You?
One common job interview question is “Who would you say inspires you?” As is usually the case, the goal with this question is to judge your own preparedness for the interview and how well you answer these types of personal questions.
It is difficult to be wrong about who inspired you, especially if you are being honest. However, stay away from the following types of people:
- Extremely famous historical figures.
- Inappropriate Individuals (“My best friend Scruffy, the janitor.”).
None of these answers will impress the employer. However, remember that you are not just trying to “answer the question.” You are trying to win the job. Therefore there are some figures that may be good, true answers but will not necessarily have the effect that you want. For example, your grandfather may have marched against oppression, but unless your grandfather mentored you in the skills you need for the job, he may not be the best answer.
Good answers will contain an individual that inspired something about you that is perfect for the job. For example:
“No person inspired me more than my college economics mentor, Dr. John Smith. With his help I was able to receive hands on training in applying economic theories, and his instruction has easily fueled my passion for the industry.”
This answer basically picks a respectable figure, shows why they inspired you and also integrates reasons that you are fit for the job.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Avoid famous historical figures, celebrities, and unimpressive individuals.
- Use mentors, teachers, researchers, and family if they have relevance to the industry.
- If you were made from a test tube on the day of the interview, make someone up.