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How Do You Answer The Passion Question?

Help me get the word Passion out of the office and back into the bedroom where it belongs!

Have you ever been in a job interview, which you thought was going great, only to get sidelined with the question, "What are you really passionate about?!" Perhaps it's because I'm a designer (I can't imagine an Doctor ever being asked this question) and people expect my brain to be overflowing with creativity. Or perhaps because I'm a designer people expect me to communicate in little sketches, who knows. One really stressful interview at a silicon valley giant, I was sidelined with the Passion Question right in the middle of talking about software design. I think I let it slip that I wasn't really that passionate about an email application I had worked on. (Please, nobody, nobody is ever passionate about email software design, let alone email, or especially software). I almost blurted out "money" in response to that question - I mean hello! interview!?! But instead of yelling out "money" (to a small group stock option lottery winners) I froze up.

I think the passion question is stupid because it's usually totally inappropriate. Does it make sense to ask a civil engineer if he's passionate about fixing sewers? Remember our friend the doctor? Nobody would ask her what she's passionate about because... a doctor is obviously all about curing the sick... so it goes without saying that I am passionate about design.

So let me ask the Blogger Community - How have you dealt with the Passion Question in your interviews? Do you think asking people this question is a good idea?

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