Failed joke attempt in interview

I was recently asked, "if you were an animal, which animal would you be?" I responded with, "a goat, because I'll be the greatest summer analyst of all time." The interviewer did not appear amused. Did well on technicals though.

Am I screwed?

Update: I got the offer, but accepted a different one


Actually pretty hilarious. 

If they didn't laugh, you probably don't want to be there.

I would have said dragon, though.

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Haha I always used to ask this at the end of superdays for fun. I never really gave a shit about the answer and usually maintained a stoic composure to mess with whoever was giving the answer. I even had one of the best analysts we had answer with "rat" due to their ability to succeed and thrive in any environment, no matter how vile. While I told him over drinks later that I hated his answer so much, it was never really a tipping point in my intention to recommend an offer. So I guess if your joke didn't land in your mind, don't worry too much lol

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A long time ago back in the aftermath of the GFC (disregard the title in my profile, I'm old) I had someone ask me a variation of this question.

It was "If [our bank] were an animal, which animal would we be?"

Stupid questions deserve stupid answers, but this interviewer was deliberately being an asshole to me throughout the entire interview (well beyond a stress interview to see how I did under pressure) and I could tell I wouldn't be getting an offer, so I said the first thing that came to mind which was:

"A cockroach, because your bank should be dead, but just won't die." (they had received $25 billion in bailout money) 

I still remember the awkward silence and look of astonishment on that clown's face.

P.S. If you are on this site, you know who you are. Fuck you.


Idk about this, not saying you're wrong but GOAT stopped being funny/cool in 2018. Now it's just overused by mainstream brands, boomers, and other people who are socially behind the times. I'm just not a huge fan of beating a dead horse into oblivion. The use of the word GOAT years after it reached it's peak just signals a lack of originality and frankly comedic laziness. Frankly this answer would've made me cringe a little but I agree with your point and I still probably would've laughed with the guy for not taking such a stupid question too seriously. 


Your answer was fine. Dumb questions deserve dumb answers.

If you did well in all other aspects of the interview, then you shouldn't waste your time worrying over this.

A banker that dings you over this answer will be one that compels you to write out a "Quit as a first year analyst" post on WSO next year.

I really wish more people at the analyst level understood that surviving long-term in IB even at a "lesser" bank is 1000x more financially lucrative than doing a 2 year stint at an elite shop and burning out. The money you make as a senior banker will make your analyst comp seem inconsequential. Thus, it would be prudent to find a group that you fit in well with, and people you can tolerate being around for 80-100 hours/week.

Remember, life is long. Retirement age for my generation is 70 yo.

For your generation, it will probably be 75 yo.


“If you were an animal, what animal would you be?”

”Human. What else are you interviewing for this role?”


Funnily enough this is the exact answer I gave in a software dev interview - the guy prefaced the question with "this may be out of the blue, but don't worry". Stupid question, blunt answer.


You are not alone. I was once asked "how many basketball balls could you fit in this room?" 

I looked around and said: "mmm, at least 3" (I mean, I was technically not wrong)

There was a confusing silence (he didn't get the joke) and then I actually answered the question. The interviewer didn't laugh at the joke, he smiled not to make it more awkward. I honestly thought it was funny (I still do), maybe I didn't deliver the joke that good.

Curious how others here would have reacted to my answer?


Kangaroo - lots of energy, nurturing to juniors, willing to throw punches when necessary


I get the joke, I don't think it's funny. It's just corny and low effort. This is a common interview question and it seems you prepared for it in advance. If I heard it, I'd probably be pissed off cuz I hear this BS year after year when I'm interviewing, and it's used mainly by the low brow candidates. I speak from experience. 

You know who calls everything the GOAT? My 12 year old nephew. Whenever I hear somebody say GOAT, it's so cringe. The word GOAT is overused and is something I'd see in instagram comments or overhear at the barber shop. 

If you really wanted a funny joke, there are probably way better animal jokes out there.


That is not that bad, since it was answering a less important question. I remember making a passive-aggressive joke on an important question and getting the job.

I saw it on the internet and I think it is hilarious. An interviewer asked me what my biggest weakness was, and I told him that it was that I feel the urge to always say the truth. He took the bait and said that that wasn't a weakness, and I replied that I didn't give a damn about what he thought.

It was amazing to see his facial expressions changing: from incredibility to anger to realization to laughter. 

Thinking about it, I was extremely lucky that the interviewer was that sharp.


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