A recent phenomena in recruitment interviews, apparently first started up by Steve Jobs who would who sometimes start prancing around like a chicken to test an interviewees reaction, is to ask random nonsensical questions like, “If you were a dinosaur, what sort would you be?”. Despite the unusual nature of these questions they do generate significant information for employers about possible candidates. How does the candidate react to adversity? How do they answer difficult questions? How professional can they remain when thrown a question they can’t answer?
These random questions give an insight into the candidate’s personality and resilience. They can crack open a candidate with too many rehearsed answers.
The take home message is this: develop an understanding of how you deal with adversity and prepare a method to deal with unanswerable questions.
“Resilience” in psychology is the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or using the experience of exposure to adversity to produce a “steeling effect” and function better than expected (much like an innoculation gives one the capacity to cope well with future exposure to disease).
Our ability to stay in a job that we don’t like (most of the time) depends on one’s ability to foster resilience under job adversity. Resilience is most commonly understood as a process, and not a trait of an individual, however the amount of resilience we can foster varies significantly from person to person. It is also affected by an individual’s awareness of external factors such as having others reliant on them financially, competitiveness in the job market, financial debts etc.
If you are interested in finding out more about improving your resilience at work you will find some earlier articles on this in this website.