Job interview question and answer: If someone was making a movie about your life, what genre would it be, who would play you and what would be the title?

Posted October 13, 2011, by Andrea Riddell

Such an interesting question deserves an interesting answer, but be careful not to get swept up in your imagination. The interviewer is trying to create a picture of who you are, so be careful how you portray yourself.

Unless you are actually pitching a movie about yourself to a Hollywood director this question is less about how exciting your life has been and more about how you perceive yourself and what life lessons you have learnt. How you explain your answers is just as important as the answers themselves, and the interviewer will also be assessing your ability to think on your feet.

In terms of genre, feel free to think outside the square – just make sure you can justify your answer and portray your character in a positive light. If you choose horror as your genre, you will have a lot of explaining to do. Crime fiction or film noir genres can be used to show your excellent problem-solving skills, your level-headedness as well as your strong morals. Action films can make you appear resilient, decisive and show your strength of character.

Be careful when choosing romance or comedy as your genre as they could make you come across as too sensitive or not serious enough. For romantic films you can justify your choice by saying that you enjoy a positive outcome and learning from the lessons that life throws your way. Comedies can show that you don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy a good work–life balance.

When deciding which Hollywood star will play you, think about actors who have had a respectable film career and keep their private lives away from the cameras. Choose an actor who is renowned for their modesty and their hard work. Don’t just choose Brad Pitt because he looks good in a toga. Remember, the person you choose will represent how you view yourself, not who you want to be, so take a moment to think about your choice.

The title should sum up the kind of person you are and the kind of life you have led. Steer clear of titles that portray you as an immature jokester (Van Wilder, Peter Pan) or titles that veer towards the inappropriate (The Hangover, Knocked Up, The 40 Year Old Virgin). Be creative with this one and show them that you have a sense of humour and a good sense of self.

While you don’t want to appear like you’ve led a wild life that would bring any parent to tears, most interviewers don’t want to hire a boring straighty one-eighty. Achieving the balance between appropriate and fun is essential to successfully answering this question.

Andrea Riddell

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