8 Answers To "If You Were An Animal What Would You Be?"

a picture of business person and if you were an animal what would you be

When an interviewer asks you, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” you could get a little thrown off. Don’t worry; we’re here to help guide you through answering this interview question in a way that will sound the most impressive.

An interview question like this one is often thrown into the interview session at a somewhat random time. It is designed to be a difficult question to answer on the fly (meaning without notice).

Usually, an interviewer will ask you a series of questions along the same line of thinking. Like, “Are you a leader or a follower?” or Are you willing to relocate?” things like that. They’ll then ask something a little random and not tactical like the other questions they are asking. This is on purpose. They are doing this to catch you off guard and see how well you think on your feet.

Is There A Right And Wrong Answer To This Interview Question

Dissimilar to many other interview questions that you’ll be asked, your answer to this particular interview question isn’t going to carry a significant amount of weight in their decision-making process to offer you employment. That’s because the majority of the time, interviewees answer this question incorrectly.

No one truly thinks about the qualities of the animal they are about to say that they are most like. They usually say the animal they love the most, like a dog! That’s okay! But because this is how most people answer this question, it doesn’t carry a lot of decision making power. Even if you answer this question incorrectly, you’ll be okay. Meaning, there is no “wrong” answer to this interview question.

What Is A Good Animal To Choose When Asked "If You Were An Animal What Would You Be"

When thinking through which animal you are, try to think about the job function you are applying for. If this is a leadership position, say you are applying for CEO, then you may want to choose a Bald Eagle. This is because it is the American animal, soaring solo, with a watchful eye, hunting and leading along the way. It is a very independent animal with significance to its name and meaning.

If you apply for a job function that requires a heavy amount of team building or team interactivity, you may want to choose an animal like a Dolphin. That’s because they rely on their peers to communicate and navigate the world around them. See how the question and the animal should, as a framework, relate to the job function you have applied for?

Animals To Choose From

Below is a list of animals you can choose from, some of the most popular. And what their qualities are that can help you determine which animal to respond with and your answer to why you responded with that animal. It’s important to note that once you respond to the interview question with the animal, the interviewer will absolutely ask you, “Why did you choose that animal?” so be sure you have your follow up answer prepared as well.

Dog

The dog is man's best friend, the symbolism that is about kindness more than criticism. A dog is a gentle creature to those around them. They accept paths that aren’t necessarily similar or conjoined with their own. They allow the pack to help determine their path forward while staying loyal.

Great for almost all positions.

Dolphin

The dolphin is one of the most intelligent creatures globally, using communication with their peers to help lead them through the dark waters. The dolphin is a symbol of balance, joy, and harmony in an unknown world.

Great for positions which rely heavily on teamwork.

Monkey

The monkey is a playful animal but is one that is watchful of being deceived. It is a sign of wanting intelligence to mature, appreciative of good humor, and holds the true animal of jocularity.

A monkey is a common answer to this question and is not really the best animal to choose for most positions.

Moose

The moose is an animal that is always staying true to itself. It is a sign of strength and maturity. A graceful creature that moves through nature in a non-destructive way. They stand strong and proud.

Great for mid-level management positions. A strong stature that supports an ecosystem but is still learning to adapt every day.

Giraffe

The giraffe is a creature with a special ability to see great distances. They are a symbol of foresight. Knowing what’s ahead because of their long necks. They are gentle creatures, non-destructive, and without aggression.

Great for those who are going into finance or accounting, because of the ability to recognize that the animal has the ability to see further ahead than others.

Goat

The goat is a resilient animal. One of the best things to say about a goat is that it is ready to climb ahead. It is willing to send itself great distances to climb the highest of mountains to find resources. It is a symbol of “the sky is the limit.”

Great for those who are joining companies that may be in slight distress. An act of showing that you are ready for challenges that are ahead and are resilient to being deterred away from them.

Elephant

Elephants are beautiful creatures; they are focused, family-oriented, and loyal. They work together in their small groups, with an incredible amount of determination on even the smallest of objectives.

Great for those who are going into the research or science field. This animal portrays the ability to stay focused on small objectives that are impactful to the greater herd.

Elk

The elk is an animal that is always aware of its surroundings. Meaning it is aware of its competition. It is an animal that is respectful of its pack but is always willing to keep an eye out for itself.

Great for those who are in sales, those who are encouraged to work within a team but also compete with the team, as well. The elk is not a good answer for those who are not encouraged to have an internal competition with their teammates.

Eagle

The eagle is one of the most significant animals in the United States. It has one of the most symbolic meanings. It is about life; it connects with a deeper power; it is about following the light, hunting for the opportune moments, and keeping a watchful eye over the land. This is an animal that symbolizes strength, leadership, a desire for abundance, being true to one's self, and having a deep connection with creation.

The eagle is not an animal to be used by all. It is recommended only to be used by those who are applying for senior leadership positions. Those who are at the chief executive level or just below the chief executive level. It is not recommended to be used by those applying to be part of the general workforce.

What Is The Best Animal To Be In An Interview?

From the list that we mentioned above and why each animal is great, if you are asked this question in an interview, the best animals that you can choose are:

  • Dog
  • Dolphin
  • Monkey
  • Moose
  • Giraffe

Remember, it is vital that you know the reason that you chose that animal. Be sure to read our guide in full before you answer with one of these animals so that you can be prepared to support the reason for your choice to the interviewer.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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