Recently, it came out that Facebook’s head recruiter’s favorite interview question to ask is more like a personal essay question. “On your very best day at work—the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world—what did you do that day?”
Now that this is making the viral rounds, don’t be surprised to hear it in your non-Facebook interviews as well. Here are some tips for breaking the question down and being ready to pounce on it. If you have a upcoming job interview, make sure to go over these 10 toughest interview questions.
DO understand what the question is probing.
This is a test to see what you value and prioritize in your work life. Your perfect workday is what you want to achieve—just on a more micro level than the ol’ “Where do you see yourself in five years?” question.
DON’T take it literally.
Don’t take the interviewer through your teeth-brushing, your miraculously easy commute, your cappuccino waiting on your desk when you get to the office. Consider it more of a highlight reel of the best moments of that ideal day.
DO tailor your answer to this job.
This isn’t the place to debut your fantasy career as a tennis pro. If the job you’re interviewing for includes managing a team, talk about how the day includes productive meetings with your squad (leadership skills). If you’ll be in a marketing role, talk about how the day would include a breakthrough by using a new form of digital media (tech-savvy skills and being results oriented). This question is a great way to wave your passion points in with the skills you want to emphasize in the interview.
DON’T make a joke out of it.
This is a legitimate question, and the interviewer wants a sincere answer. It might be tempting to say that your perfect day involves skipping work and sipping fruity drinks poolside. Resist that urge.
DO include specifics.
You can use your own professional goals to create specific scenarios that would make you feel fulfilled. But again—make sure this matches up to the job description. If you have a particular goal, especially one that aligns with the job for which you’re interviewing, work that in here.
DON’T spin an epic story.
Keep it brief, like 2-3 points. Hint: if you start including characters with backstory, you’ve gone too far. Never forget that you’re in a job interview, not a casual conversation.
DO be authentic.
If you’re passionate about an aspect of your career, here is an excellent chance to gush about it. The interviewer is trying to gauge your personal relationship to your job, and this question is an opportunity to show how connected and committed you can be.
As interview questions go, this one is actually a pretty useful one to consider for your general career goals. Long before you step into any interview, you should know what makes you tick, professionally. And being able to focus in on that in an interview will make you a stronger, more confident candidate.