Interview Tips

How to Answer: If You Could Sit Down and Have Dinner with Anyone, Who Would It Be?

By: Josie Steffey
Aug 6, 2020 • 4 min read

How to Answer: If You Could Sit Down and Have Dinner with Anyone, Who Would It Be?

This is a commonly asked question, and perhaps one of the only questions that may make you a little hungry during the interview! It seems to be a creative conversation starter that you’d hear on a first date, however, when an interviewer asks this, your answer may differ from the fun, light-hearted response that you gave at dinner last night. Interviewers inquire about this for a specific reason. How do you answer such an amusing, yet complicated question professionally? If you have ever been tripped on a question like this one, you are not alone! Here at JobGet, we are ready to help you understand why employers ask this and how to answer it with confidence and poise. Read on to find out!

dinner with anyone

What Is The Interviewer Really Asking?

Employers pose this theoretical question to get a sense of who you are at your core. A question like this effortlessly reveals where your priorities lie and what qualities you admire in others. It can also be asked to gauge your self-awareness and ability to make decisions on the spot. This conversational query examines how you interact with others and could even offer a glimpse into how you may network with others. All in all, at the heart of this question, are deeper ones.

Who are you? What are your values? Are you well-rounded? What topics do you find interesting, and how does that reflect your character as a person?  What kind of people do you strive to surround yourself with?

Mention well-known people

It is not going to do you much good if you speak on someone that the interviewer is unfamiliar with. Also, calling out a specific family member or friend of yours, even if you explain the reason why, may not be the best approach. It is unrelatable and broad, and honestly, sounds lazy and unrehearsed.

Example: I have a strong passion for renewable energy and love to research climate change. I would have dinner with Greta Thunberg, the famous child climate change activist. I would love to engage in conversation about her strength, courage, and passion for the environment. 

Explain your “why”

The “why” is just as important, if not more, than the original question itself. By explaining the reasons as to why you would want to have dinner with a specific person, you give the interviewer more opportunity to know who you are and assess the way that you think. You could also include the conversation topic that you would envision discussing with your chosen dinner guest. This will also give the employer a greater understanding of your overall personality.

Example: I would have dinner with Michelle Obama. I am a mother of two, and I would love to hear her parenting techniques for when life gets hectic! Her poise and calm demeanor inspire me as a parent. 

dinner with anyone

Answer honestly

If you choose a well-known character or icon, but fail to have a strong connection to them, it will be visible. Make sure that you answer the question truthfully and thoughtfully. The interviewer deserves genuineness and a well-thought-out response. It is noticeable if you only say something to say it; usually, it is hard to give a specific reason as to why you chose that person when it isn’t someone you know of very well.

Example: I would love to have dinner with pop-star Selena Gomez. I have a close friend who has Lupus, similar to Selena, and I would love to have a conversation about supporting loved ones with chronic illnesses. Plus, to be honest, I love her music! 

More Sample Answers

If I could have dinner with one person, I would choose Oprah because she is an empowering women’s role model that has a fun personality. It would great for her to rub off on me!

I would like to speak with Martin Luther King Jr. because he led a peaceful movement to transform history for the better. I find it amazing how much change he invoked with his life-giving words.

I’d choose to have dinner with George Washington because he was a great army leader. I would like to ask him about how he led his troops during such a hard time in history.

dinner with anyone

Use It To Your Advantage

Remember that this question is designed to get to know you better! Use it to your advantage. Make sure that you do not blow off the question by answering with a dismissive or sarcastic answer. Even if you manage to get a chuckle out of the interviewer, this does not help you in the long run. Allow the question to work for your benefit!

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