How would you determine the number of tennis balls that would fit inside a giraffe?


As odd as this question might seem at first, it (and others like it) is a popular interview technique.


You might be wondering if the interviewer is talking about regulation-sized tennis balls or if there is a live giraffe (and PETA) involved in the answer. Indeed, it would be common to wonder what this question has to do with working in an automotive dealership.


While tennis balls and giraffes have very little to do with dealerships, your answer to the question does.


The interviewer is looking for your behavioral response. It reveals your tolerance for novelty and how you go about problem-solving. Answers to novel, opened-ended questions that provide real insight show what it would be like to have you on board.

Behavioral Interview Questions That Provide Real Insight

Do not be surprised if your interviewer asks only a few questions regarding your history. They’ve already reviewed both documents, and found your education and experience aligned with their hiring needs.


You’ve been invited to the interview because they want to better understand your behavior — to see how you would react in particular situations. You could be asked insightful questions like these:

  1. What’s the most energizing thing about the role you’re currently in?
  2. Tell about a situation when you handled a complaint from a major client.
  3. Think about a time when you and a coworker had a conflict. What happened?
  4. Share about a major mistake you made at work. How did you (and the organization) recover from it?
  5. What significant challenge have you overcome, and how did you do it?
  6. Tell about a time when you made a decision that was a huge mistake.
  7. If you come to work for this automotive dealership, what are you hoping will be different from your previous role?
  8. What factors influence your decision to work at an organization?
  9. Tell what you admired/appreciated most about your last boss or job.
  10. What is something you’re good at but never want to do again?

None of these questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. Your behavioral responses help interviewers imagine how you might fit in the organization.

How to Answer Open-Ended Questions

As tempted as you might be to give the interviewer the response you think they’re looking for, don’t.

Be yourself. After all, the dealership will see your true self emerge after only a few weeks of working in your new role.

Recruiters recommend that when you answer behavioral questions, keep in mind these points:

  • Be truthful. With minimal effort, interviewers can research your answers.
  • Avoid negative comments about former employers or colleagues. Putting them down lowers your standing among interview candidates.
  • Use humor. If the one thing you’re good at but hate doing is dusting, say so. Chances are that the interviewer feels the same way.

You’re both looking for a working relationship with a good fit.

And maybe those tennis balls.

How Can We Help You?

So when you’re ready to have the recruitment team at Autopeople in your corner, give us a call at 1-800-659-9501, visit our website at or email us to discuss what Autopeople can do for you.