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Job interview question and answer: If you were a car, what type would you be?

Posted October 13, 2011, by Josie Chun

If you were a car, would you be a sleek and speedy Jaguar, a solid and dependable Volvo or a practical and fuel-efficient little Smart car?

Your answer to this question shouldn’t be guided by car envy or the latest model featured on Top Gear, but by the requirements of the job you’re applying for. If you’re going for a job in a fast-paced industry where speedy thinking is paramount, then it would be wise to liken yourself to a sports car of your choice. If image matters – let’s say it’s a job in advertising – go for something sleek and classy, maybe a Ferrari or an Aston Martin if you want to give off a James Bond vibe.

If, on the other hand, you’re applying for a job where reliability will be particularly valued, then you can’t go past something like a Volvo or Lexus. Just make sure the car you choose has characteristics and associations that are in keeping with the kind of job and industry you’re about to enter. For example, when you think of a Volvo, innovation and ‘cool’ are not the first things that enter most people’s minds. That may not matter if you’re applying to be a tax auditor, but it may if you’re applying to be the newest member of a company’s social media marketing team.

Similarly, if you’re applying for a position with a progressive company that prides itself on its innovative culture and environmental credentials, then why not say you’re a Smart car – cutting-edge, compact and environmentally conscientious. You probably wouldn’t want to say you’re a Rolls Royce or a big, fuel-guzzling 4WD.

A 4WD, however, might be appropriate if you want to project an image of ruggedness and an ability to handle all terrains – like if you’re applying for a mining job in remote Western Australia, or any job requiring a bit of grunt and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

Josie Chun

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