The Curious George Approach to Interviewing

Use the Curious George style to ACE your next job interview

As many of you know, I follow an large number of blogs every day on a wide range of subjects – hiring, job search, motivation, blogging, retention, performance management, social media, internet marketing, basketball coaching – every interest that I have both personally and professionally. I get hundreds of ideas about blogging, marketing, FREE tools to offer YOU – the list is endless.

Which begs the question – what are you reading?

Do you have your books list up in the LinkedIn Application? What blogs do you subscribe to and read consistently in some RSS feeder like Google Reader? What blogs/forums are you commenting on what you’ve recently read?

(Little sidenote: There are few activities that a professional, manager, and can engage in that will lead to as many benefits as a high level of reading and exploration – do you make reading and exploration a big priority in your job search?)

Shoot us back a note in the comments about your favorite blogs that keep you informed, moving to a new level of learning, and turned on about new knowledge.

YOU MIGHT ASK  – where are you going with all this? You might ask – how does all this talk about blogs relate to job search and job interviewing?

I was reading one of my favorite blogs on how to blog better, ProBlogger , and Darren Rowse, the blog author, talked about the lessons learned from reading Curious George Books with his 3 year old. You remember Curious George – I still have the ones from my childhood and I had the chance to share them with my kids when they were younger.

Here’s what Darren said in his blog article titled A Lesson from Curious George for Bloggers:

The books of choice at bed time in my 3 year olds room are all Curious George books at the moment. He’s crazy for George.

Needless to say that the 6 Curious George books that we have are getting read again and again – I pretty much know them off by heart…. to the point that I’ve started taking less notice of the story itself and more notice of HOW its been written.

There’s one thing about Curious George Books (or at least the ones we have) that I’ve noticed that really makes them more engaging than some of the other kids books my boy reads.

Do you know what it is?

It’s something that draws my boy further and further into the book.

Any ideas what it could be?

It’s a technique that actually causes my little guy to ask me to turn the page – something that gets him thinking about what is coming next – something causes him to be curious – just like George.

What do you think it is?

This technique is not only a page turner – its something that draws my boy from being a passive listener/reader of the book – but actually gets him interacting with the book – talking about it as I’m reading.

Have you guessed what it is?

The technique is simple – on every second page there’s a question.

It’s not a question that needs an answer – but it’s a question that engages the person reading the book and draws them deeper into the story.

They are questions about what will happen next, questions about what the reader thinks or knows, leading questions that draw readers to keep reading but also to become engaged.

I’m reading the blog article and all of sudden it hit me – this is the same best practice technique that most top candidates use in an interview to engage with hiring managers (Thanks Darren for letting me borrow your analogy). The same concept applied in a writing a popular children’s book can be applied in a high level interview.

Do you engage, build rapport, draw the interviewer toward you, and build passion in them around wanting to learn more about YOU? Think about your last few interviews.

  • Did you wait till the end to ask questions?
  • Did you use your questions as a technique of engaging and stimulating a conversation instead of an interrogation?
  • Did you get ask questions to get the hiring manager talking?
  • Did your technique of asking questions last for a moment or two – or were you able to sustain it through-out the entire interview?
  • What happened on the interviews you were engaging through questions vs. the interviews where you didn’t ask very many questions?

Download a few of our FREE Audio recordings of past Radio Broadcasts that Brad and I have done on interviewing best practices.

You can also find more details on how to prepare and ACE a “Curious George” Interview in our Job Search Workbook.

Try the technique on your next interview. Let us know what happens.

Who would have thought a simple children’s book could provide so much insight about interviewing?

Barry Deutsch

Our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group frequently discusses best practices for interviewing. Learn from some of the best in how the instinctively use the “Curious George” Technique.

About the Author

Barry Deutsch is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Barry is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.


  • By brad, February 25, 2010 @ 6:27 pm

    good post barry

  • By Barry Deutsch, February 25, 2010 @ 6:39 pm

    Interesting metaphor for interviewing in the blog post

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