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Richard Branson Always Asks One Key Question About CVs In Job Interviews

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Richard Branson Always Asks One Key Question About CVs In Job Interviews

Job interviews are hard at the best of times, but when a prospective employer throws you a curveball and asks what you'd be if you were an animal or which Hogwarts house you'd be in and why, your brain practically implodes. 

Not only do you have to prepare for all the usual questions about role development and why you’re a great team player (but also a strong independent worker), you also have to try and work out which of the zanier lines of inquiry might get fired your way.  

But if you ever find yourself being interviewed by Virgin founder Richard Branson, you can head into the room having at least come up with an answer for one thing he’ll apparently always ask. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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In his 2014 book The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership, Branson explained how he’s not a fan of the traditional job interview. 

According to Business Insider, he wrote: "Obviously a good CV is important, but if you were going to hire by what they say about themselves on paper, you wouldn't need to waste time on an interview."  

This is why he prefers to ask: “What didn't you get a chance to include on your résumé?” 

Branson continued: "As important as it is to look at what a candidate has achieved elsewhere, I have always believed that the single most important thing to consider is 'personality fit'. 

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"By that I mean, is this someone whose way of being, sense of humour, and general demeanour will dovetail easily with your company's culture?" 

Branson also believes employers should always trust your gut, saying they can always teach someone the skills required for a job, but they can’t learn how to adapt their personality to fit a certain workplace culture. 

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

If an applicant comes into the office looking too nervous for him to a get a clear impression of them, Branson said he has a way to try and loosen them up. 

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"I have often broken the ice by asking them to tell me a joke," he wrote.  

"It's amazing how telling a joke, even if doing it really badly, can make someone laugh at themselves and come out of their shell." 

As for other celebrity employers, Elon Musk reportedly asks candidates a baffling riddle: "You are standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?" 

I know, I haven’t got a clue either. According to the Daily Star, answers can range from ‘the North Pole’, ‘the South Pole’ or ‘near to the surface of the Earth’ right through to – my favourite - ‘lost’. 

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Both Miranda Kalinowski, Facebook’s Global Head of Recruiting, and Lori Goler, Vice President of People Operations, are also said to ask the same question. 

The Daily Star reports that they say: "On the 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?" 

Something tells me they wouldn’t take too kindly to ‘not having to go to work in the first place’ as an answer. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Celebrity, Richard Branson

Jess Hardiman
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