Proust Questionnaire

We’re all familiar with the basic questions at the heart of most job interviews. Where do yourself in five years? What are your greatest weaknesses? And why do you want to work for our company? The questions and the answers are predictable.

But, when you come for your interview at Biotica, you should come prepared with answers to all 35 Proust questions. In the middle of the conference table, you’ll find a wicker basket that contains the questions written on small slips of paper. At the end of the interview, you’ll be asked to select one and answer it.

In addition to the probing questions, Proust was also the author of the longest novel, 1,267,069 words (twice the length of “War and Peace”, and the longest sentence, 847 words. Diagram that in your spare time! Writers use the questionnaire to interrogate and develop their characters. It’s also used in modern job interviews. Since 1993, “Vanity Fair” has published the questionnaire answered by notables from popular culture, including authors Joan Didion and Norman Mailer, singers David Bowie, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, actors Sidney Poitier, Tom Ford, and Carrie Fischer, activist Monica Lewinsky, and primatologist Jane Goodall.

You’ll find the Proust Questionnaire brimming with insight and questions that don’t lend themselves to glib, one-word answers. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • What is your greatest fear?
  • What is your greatest extravagance?
  • Which living person do you most despise?
  • What is your most marked characteristic?
  • What is your current state of mind?
  • What is your idea of perfect happiness?
  • What talent would you like to have?
  • What do you consider your greatest virtue?
  • Where would you like to live?
  • What is your greatest regret?
You’ll find all the questions here. Answer them honestly before you are asked. And compare your answers to those of a significant other or a co-worker. What did you learn? Perhaps, too much information.

Comments: Bill Abramovitz