Re: Conducting Telephone Interviews
I used to hate the question until I realized that the answer is
simple: I like writing and will be writing for the rest of my life,
whether that's five years or fifty, and whether I'm getting paid for
it or not. After that, the answer is then simplified to "I expect to
continue to hone my skills and craft, and I'd like to learn the latest
relevant tool for my career".
Now, whether employers like to hear that answer or not is another
question, but at least I'm comfortable with it on my end.
The question stems from a view of personality theory that says people can be neatly divided into planners and problem solvers. If the interviewer understands why he or she is supposed to ask the question and how to interpret the response, in theory, the answer either confirms that you will be compatible with the company's needs for the position you are seeking or that you will be incompatibly with those needs.
The worst abuse occurs where a company decides it wants to be populated entirely with planners, because then everyone will get along, irrespective of the actual job function. The second-worst abuse occurs where the company decides that the job function requires one of the two types, irrespective of who the other people in the work group are.
Whether or not you agree with the underlying dichotomy, by understanding where the question is coming from you can shape your response appropriately. Personally, I'm not the least bit shy about telling people I'm a problem solver, not a planner, and then going on to explain why that makes me a good fit for the job and acknowledging it means I'm a poor candidate for a senior management position. Other people are understandably less comfortable being that straightforward (depending on the nature of the job and the company). Forewarned is forearmed.
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