This or That?

Deceptively simple, yet fiendishly revealing.

Also incredibly tricky to write.

The ‘this or that’ rapid-fire quiz is a staple of the celebrity profile interview finale.

Take a pair of seemingly opposing stops along a particular pop-culture line and shine the headlamp demanding one is chosen above the other.

I remember coming across these from my earliest days of flicking through teenage mags.

Guitar or Synth? Madge or Kylie? Vinyl or CD? Dayglo or Black? Connery or Moore?

We haven’t, it seems, grown up much since.

Helping a sales manager seeking new hires craft an interview template, I wondered whether having some of these up their sleeve might help.

I’m glad to report that they did.

Slotted in surreptitiously at a natural moment, the ensuing couple of minutes debate uncovered lots about the candidate.

Here are some pretty generic examples, readily adaptable to most situations;

Hunter or Farmer?

Inbound or Outbound?

Market A or Market B?

Product C or Product D?

Feature M or Feature N?

Competitor 1 or Competitor 2?

CxO or CyO?

Slideshow or Whiteboard?

Bid or Pitch?

The more tailored you make it, the better. Especially if there’s no clear single ‘right’ answer. You’re after finding out how they think.


footnote A: the more mischievous sellers would no doubt have made the potential leap into the prospect furnace – imagine some such as these bandied around to uncover a buying process;

Perfect or Now?

OpEx or CapEx?

Off The Shelf or Bespoke?

Asked with a quickfire smile and they could be highly worthwhile.


footnote B: the Emily Watson movie of the dystopian social media giant The Circle features a useful interview scene, blogged on here, which includes eight This or Thats in what the interviewer calls the “Speed Round”…

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