How much sleep a night do you get?
Seems like an innocent enough question. What would you answer if a friend of yours asked? Or your mother? What would you answer if it was your boss? Are you honest with each of these people? Do you exaggerate up or down with any of these people? I guess that you do.
What would you answer if you were asked this question by someone interviewing you for the job you really need to get to the next level of your career?
Lets first review it as a fair interview question – I think it is a personal question. To me it isn’t as intrusive as asking if someone smokes, but drug tests are a normal procedure for some jobs. I also think it is outside the scope of the usual set of interview questions regarding goals, success, and working as a team. So lets accept it as a borderline question where it would only be asked of someone that is doing really well with the other more normal set of questions.
But why would an interviewer ask this question – what is the point?
If I am the person getting interviewed and my interviewer asked me how much sleep I get a night I start to ask myself two questions – does this person consider someone who gets lots of sleep to be lazy? and/or does this person think that someone who does get enough sleep knows how to prioritize? In addition to those two questions, you might want to think what the magic number is? Is it seven, seven and half, six, eight, or what? Finally, I would think what my real average a night would be – six to six and half. After spinning through those questions I would probably say seven. Is it a lie? Yep. It is a combination of what I think the interviewer wants to hear and what I think I can rationalize as fair in my own head? Yep.