TRUTH 6 You’re not Sigmund Freud

The rise of pop psychology in the 1960s created a new phenomenon in the 1990s: the pop psychology interview. As managers grew increasingly interested in refining their selection techniques, it became trendy to throw some curveball questions to candidates to see what their answers would reveal. Soon they became commonplace—regardless of whether they were actually valid or job related.

Managers often have a pet question, usually one in which they “play psychologist.” These are questions such as, “What is your favorite color?” “What was your favorite class in school?” “If you could be any animal of the forest, what would you be?” or even, “Which of the Seven Dwarfs best describes your personality?” (No kidding, ...

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