Let’s see.... Lake Tahoe, lying on the beach holding a fruity drink with an umbrella in it, riding my horse through the mountains, at the bank counting the millions of dollars I just won in the lottery...all those sound like great places to me.
This is not a typical job interview question. But it’s really no more odd than “ If you could be any animal, what would you be? ” or “ If you were a tree, what tree would you be? ” Hiring managers ask those kinds of personality questions with dismaying frequency. So why do they ask them? It’s because they’re trying to get a better idea of who you are. They want insight into your personality and work and they think that maybe you’ll let your guard down with this kind of question in a way you wouldn’t with something like “What’s your greatest weakness?” It’s understandable. Their reputation is on the line everytime they hire someone. If you’re going to be on their team, you’re a direct threat to their job if you don’t do well. They have a lot at stake.
But you have a lot at stake, too.
Job interviews are hard to come by these days. If you get one, it’s a golden opportunity that you HAVE to make the most of. That means that you need to be laser - focused on your goal, which is to get the job offer. To get the offer, you have to sell yourself as the best person for the job. How do you sell yourself for the job? By answering every single interview question (even weird interview questions like this one) in a positive, focused way that adds yet another layer of reasons to hire you.
If you follow that logic along, that means that the best answer to “If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?” is going to sound a lot like this one:
“Right where I’m at. For me, the next step in my life and my c a- reer is an opportunity like this. And sitting here with you is the best opportunity for me to make the move into this position. So I can’t imagine that there is anywhere else I would prefer to be right now.”
That’s what I mean when I tell candidates to be strategic in the interview.
Because there IS a wrong answer to that interview question, no matter what they say. And the wrong answer is anything other than “Right here.”