We all know how frustrating and nerve-racking job interviews can be. On top of that, there are some seemingly odd questions, like: “What’s your favorite food and why?”. How should we answer this question?
The question “What’s your favorite food and why” in a job interview is there to reveal something personal about you and establish your decision-making skills. Therefore, your answer should always be decisive, honest, and personal.
In this article, I’ll discuss why job interviews include this question, give some tips on how to answer it, and give you some answer samples so it’s easier for you to get that job.
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Why Do Employers Ask Silly Questions Like “What Is Your Favorite Food”
The interviewers aren’t asking this question just because they’re running out of questions or ideas for their lunch. As silly as this question sounds, it can reveal a lot about you and if you’re a perfect fit for that company. So, let’s see why this question is so relevant.
Are You a Quick Decision-Maker?
Questions like this one can throw many candidates for a loop so much so that they don’t know what to answer. I mean, there are so many choices, and people don’t generally spend hours thinking about their favorite food, let alone why it’s their favorite.
So, many candidates probably go with the first thing that comes to their mind and say something like: “Ummm, pizza…or hamburger…no, wait, it’s a salad.” Well, there are probably a couple of interviewers who like pizza themselves, but this isn’t the best answer out there.
Unfortunately, with this kind of answer, you’re sending a message that you’re unsure about things that aren’t even that serious. How, then, can the company trust you to make the best possible decisions that can affect its profits?
Interviewers Want To Hear Your Opinion
Another reason job interviews include questions such as “What’s your favorite food and why” is because it’s a nice and informal way of checking your opinions about ordinary things. It’s a successful way to “peer” into the candidates’ lives and relax the tense atmosphere job interviews are famous for.
Questions like this can be grouped into opinion question types of job interviews. The whole purpose of these questions is to hear your stance on certain things. The important thing you must remember about this question, in particular, is that there’s no wrong answer. The interviewers aren’t trying to trick you. They’re just interested in getting to know you.
Interviewers Want To Figure Out Your Personality
Believe it or not, food can be a great way to learn somebody’s personality, so the saying “You are what you eat” is true to some extent. The fact is, interviewers can see what type of person you are through the types of food you eat, and especially why some food is your favorite.
For instance, if your favorite food is fast food, interviewers might think something along the lines of “Is this person too lazy to make their food?” or “Doesn’t this person know how to cook?”
These things might seem trivial, but when you’re given huge responsibility in a company, it’s a warning sign for them if you’re too lazy to make your own food or didn’t learn to cook for yourself. Perhaps you’ll be too lazy to do your job at the company.
Interviewers Want To Learn More About You and Remember You
By asking what your favorite food is and why that is, interviewers can learn about the things you like and don’t like. Those small details help them (and you) to remember you next to hundreds of other candidates.
Interviewers can also learn about your history and heritage through this question. Many candidates will usually mention some exotic or unknown food that’s part of their own culture and family history.
This is not uncommon. Interviewers usually ask questions about your race and ethnicity. Check out my other article if you want to know why they ask those questions and if they’re allowed to do that.
How to Answer Questions About Your Favorite Food With Samples
Okay, you now know the reasons why you get asked this question in a job interview, but how do you answer it in the best way possible? I mean, what if your favorite food is a hamburger? Is a hamburger going to cost you your job? Let’s see how you should approach this question and give a good answer.
Answer With Confidence
The last thing you want in a job interview is to sound either confused or unsure about a certain thing. While it’s fine if you’re unsure about some technical questions and hypothetical situations but, when you’re unsure about the food you like, it can be a bad sign for interviewers.
So, to avoid this situation, always answer confidently, even if you’re not deep inside. Everybody has personal tastes and opinions, so why shouldn’t you be confident about your own?
However, you should be careful here and remember what I mentioned about fast food. Being confident also means being in control of your life and healthy habits, so mentioning fast food might not send the right message.
Answer Sample 1
“My favorite food is definitely baked fish with lemons. I just love the aroma and the taste of fish and zesty lemon combined. I think the flavors mix really nicely together. Also, it doesn’t take me long to prepare; it’s really easy to make. All my friends seem to like it when I prepare it when I have them over for dinner.”
Bring Personal Into the Mix
Remember that these questions are a perfect way for you to present your more informal side and offer something the interviewers will remember you by.
So, don’t be afraid to mention your history or what you’re passionate about. You may think that companies aren’t interested in that, but being too uptight and formal won’t help you much. Therefore, try to think of some personal story that’s dear to you. Your reasons will always be more believable that way.
Answer Sample 2
“I have to say that my favorite food is pasta puttanesca. The reason I like it is that it reminds me of my home back when I was living with my parents. They moved here from Italy before I was born, and we always had this meal every Sunday. So, when I make it now, the smell brings me back to my childhood.”
Mention How You Like To Experiment
Sometimes you don’t have to be specific about your favorite food, but you should have a good reason in that case. As I mentioned, the trouble with being too vague is that you don’t sound like a good decision-maker. However, if you have a good strategy, you still might come on top.
How so? Well, if you mention that the reason for your uncertainty is your love for experimenting with new things, you shift your indecisiveness into a good quality. Suddenly, interviewers might think, “Well, he likes the change and risk. That can be useful.”
Answer Sample 3
“Well, it’s a tricky question. I mean, there are many choices right now. I really like to try new things all the time, and I like to experiment. I’ve tried hundreds of dishes from almost every country. I really like spicy food, but I’m not somebody who looks behind me. I like discovering new stuff that’s ahead of me.”
If you thought that silly questions like “What’s your favorite food and why?” in your job interviews are there just to confuse you, think again. They can reveal many insightful things about you, but always remember to answer this question with:
- Personal reasons.
- The Interview Top: What is Your Favorite Food & Why? Interview Question & Answers
- agilus: 5 Different Types of Interview Questions
- CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute: Fellowship Interview Questions – Alec Chi
- YouTube: 5 BEST Interview Tips – The Ultimate Formula to Interview Success