Taking My Dog to a Job Interview

I have always been fool enough to believe a job should be offered the person who is the most qualified. Yet you can be the biggest fuck-up the world has ever seen and bullshit your way through an interview to get hired.

Having resigned myself to the reality that I need to brush up on my BS, I started looking for ways to sell myself to potential employers. Then I had a brilliant idea:

Dogs and cats sell everything from paper towels to pharmaceuticals. So why not use my companions to sell me?

Yeah, why not?


What’s in it for me? Cat food? OK, I’m in.

I made a mental list of some of the interview questions I’ve been asked in the past and pondered how I could incorporate my dog or cat into my answer.

Think of a time you had to make a quick decision. How did you handle it? What was the outcome? Because Rumpy is considered a “dangerous breed” by some insurance companies, I must always be on my toes when we’re out for our walks. But sometimes things happen I’m not at all prepared for, and I have to make a split-second decision on how to react. For instance, one day we were out walking when a man rode by on a 3-wheeled cycle. He stopped just past us, then 3 small dogs jumped from the back and began to bark at us as the man asked if it was OK. What to do? I need him to move on but not make him fearful of us. So I told him my dog is overly playful and I feared he’d harm his dogs. He got the message and he and his dogs quickly moved on their way. And Rumpy and I resumed our walk without his having yanked my arm out of socket whilst trying to play.

What is your greatest strength? Determination. My older cat has hyperthyroidism and must take medication twice daily. Trust me when I tell you that giving June Buggie a pill  requires trickery  and skill. If I have to try fifty different ways to get that medicine into his system, I will not give up until the medication has been taken.

What is your biggest weakness? Giving into my pets when they beg for a part of my dinner. I mean, could you say no to this face?

How could you say no to me, Jen?

OK, so I don’t think it’s going to work out too well if I use my companions as examples for every answer given, but I definitely think I’m onto something.

What do you think? Good idea or no? Have any suggestions for using your pets to help answer some of the more commonly used interview questions?


44 thoughts on “Taking My Dog to a Job Interview

      1. It really depends on the interviewer and unfortunately most interview to a strict formula. I was always more of a conversation interviewer. You find out so much more about people by discussing their interests than listening to their formulaic responses to the top 100 interview questions. Seriously though – give those responses using the fuzzy examples. It shows you are more than one dimensional, that you’ve given it some thought, and that you can apply to different situations. 🙂

  1. I don’t believe taking your pets to an actual job interview would be a good idea, even if you were applying for a position at a veterinary office or an animal hospital. For one, they’d be a distraction. But, outside of that veterinary office or animal hospital, I don’t think many companies will allow pets into their facilities, except service animals.

    However, I think it would be a good idea to work the pets into a conversation with an interviewer, especially if you’re dealing with family services issues. Care and concern for animals normally shows your ability to empathize with families in crisis.

    1. Well, no, I wasn’t going to actually take Rumpy with me. I considered wearing a t-shirt with a big picture of his head on it, but maybe that’s too much as well. Actually I don’t want to empathize, I want to be like the others and just pretend to.

  2. Actually, having a dog worked for me in getting a job. It also helped that I was divorced and living with someone……….. as were most of the pther members of staff, so I fitted right in!
    My last job though was secured by telling a joke. Nothing to do with my ability or qualifications at all, and i was there over five years.

  3. Wow!!! I think that it’s a great idea to use your pets for the answers. You’re wonderfully organised because of your pets. Dealing with someone who don’t speak our languages give us many experiences….I think that it helps us whatever we will do!

  4. If you’re given an interview, you’re already capable of doing the job. They wouldn’t bother interviewing you otherwise. But the other candidates will also be in the same position. What you want is to stand out from the other candidates and be remembered for being a little bit different. Mentioning your pets will make you stand out because it’s an unusual thing to talk about during an interview. It’s also a little bit risky, so would show that you are confident, self-assured, and comfortable talking about the things that really matter to you. On top of that, talking about your pets will make your face light up, so you’ll sparkle!
    I wish you all the best. Tess 🐾

  5. It could work! One thing you might want to do to lay the groundwork is to find out if the interviewer also has companion animals. (Maybe in the ice-breaking chit-chat at the beginning of the interview.) After all, you’ll be interviewing him or her as well. I, personally, would much prefer working for someone who cares for animals, because such people are generally more caring, and they understand the patience and skill it takes!

  6. I love this post. Using pets in some of your answers would definitely be refreshing for your interviewer (as long as he or she is human) and would show that you’re more than an employee – you’re a person too. Then when you get the job, everybody gets lots of treats, playtime, and walks! And no baths for a year! Yay! Good luck.

    Love and licks,

  7. those are some great examples that you can use.Don’t forget to find out if the interview is a pet lover too and maybe they have a bring your pet to work day,some places do.Great idea,xx Rachel

  8. Brilliant post. I feel like it could work with some questions. Maybe not every single question – but a few.

  9. It all depends on the interviewer and the job….but if people can go on and on about their kids at interviews…oh, OK. Just put that cute picture of Rumpy on your phone and leave it face up so the interviewer can see it – a possible ice breaker. Your work with animal rescue/legislation where you showed up in offices might work for questions of initiative, a strength ( to pursue a noble cause to improve the world – even if difficult). You’ve got a lot to offer from many things you’ve done.

    1. So do you do human resources kinda work? Because I could use some advice. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t think the same way lots of people do.

      1. No, just bumbling through life and trying to pass on what I’ve seen. Might try getting a book on body language at the library. Interviews are tricky and you have to be able to read the person, watch their eyes, and think on your feet to adjust when you see they are interested in something you said and go in that direction – or back off. Your own body language is important, too – as well as energy level and an air of “I can do a great job for you”.
        Knowledge/expertise sells – but it also has to be presented to show you will fit in to the group. (Can you tell how others dress there? They always say dress like you work there. Shoes included.)
        The social part is difficult. Often the HR people’s personality is different from the group (or the job) – always good to try to connect with those who will be co-workers in advance if you can – that can help that someone already knows you.
        The whole thing about interview is you want to make it easy for them to hire you and show how good a hiring person they are to others. You job in an interview – as well as at work – is to make them look good. (I know, annoying)
        Oh, be prepared to have a view/comment about some popular TV show ( which character in Game of Thrones do you identify with – type of question – pick a productive one who has good goals) or what current book(review) have you read? Have a chatty line about hobbies and how you handle stress. Yoga is popular. And never offer negatives about yourself – turn those questions in a positive direction about an accomplishment/ effort in that question’s topic direction..deflect deflect deflect from giving up bad info about yourself.
        Hope some of it helps. Life’s a stage – you can do it. Imagine the role, then perform. They always ask about what you think your weakness is or a problem area or what you feel you need to improve about yourself (“Learning new things is always good and I live to explore new ideas” is better than “I love set routines that don’t change and probably should try alternatives sometimes” or “I really love children and will work extra hard to make sure things go right for them” – that one’s a sign of potential burnout candidate. If there’s a question about changing jobs frequently, “The territories/company needs changed” “I felt ready for a new challenge…and this opening catch my eye” The “it wasn’t a good fit” answer will give them a chance to ask why – avoid that if possible. Try to give neutral answers ( not your fault or theirs) if leaving was badly done or you hated your boss (who doesn’t at some point) “trying new things” shows you are willing to grow. They like that. Get ready for “Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years from now?”..think like the new company and answer with something that shows you will benefit them as well as yourself professionally.
        Smile! No that’s a grimace HA HA

  10. Great post! Here’s a question that I’ve been asked before when I once tried to go for a senior position. What would you do if one of your co-workers was not working up to scratch and was going to miss an important deadline?

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