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Competency Based Behavioural Interview – The Creative Interviewee

The story below shows creativity as a competence to look for in a job interview:

There was one company which manufactured combs and it intended to expand its business. The management decided to employ a new Sales Manager.

The company advertised the vacancy in the newspaper. They were so many applicants who turned up for the interview everyday in just a few days.

The company was in a dilemma to select the right candidate for the position of Sales Manager. As a result, the company’s interviewer assigned a difficult task for the applicants who came for the final interview.

The task was to sell combs to monks in the temples.

Only 3 Applicants were shortlisted for the final interview – Mr. A, Mr. B and Mr. C.

To these 3 final interviewees, the interviewer instructed: “Now I want three of you here to sell these wooden combs to the monks in the temples. You only have 10 days to do it and report to me after that.”

After 10 days, they came back to report to the company.

The interviewer asked Mr. A: “How many combs have you sold?”

Mr. A answered: “Only one.”

The interviewer asked again: “How did you manage to sell the one comb?”

Mr. A Answered: “The monks in the temples scolded me when I showed them the comb. But on my way back downhill, I met a young monk who bought it to scratch his head due to dandruff”.

The interviewer then asked Mr. B: “And how many did you sell?”

Mr. B replied: “10 pieces. I went to a shrine and noticed many devotees’ hair were ruffled due to the strong wind outside the shrine. The monk in there listened to my advice and bought 10 combs for their devotees.

Then, The Chief Interviewer asked Mr. C: “How about you?”

Mr. C replied: “1,000 units.”

The interviewer and the other 2 interviewees were astounded.

Excited, the interviewer asked: “How did you accomplish that?”

Mr. C replied: “I went to a famous temple. After making observations for a few days I discovered that there were many tourists. I then told the Chief Abbot there that the tourists who came are fervent devotees. If you could give them a gift, they would be elated. I told him that I had a bulk of combs here and asked him to craft some writings on the combs as gifts for the visitors. He was very delighted and straight away ordered 1,000 pieces.”

Of course, you know who gets the job.

You are invited to attend the CBBI Workshop to be held from March 4-5, 2013 at the Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang, Malaysia.

For further details of the CBBI workshop, please contact: or call Dr. CK Khoo at +6012-4019398.

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