If You Could Be Any Mythical Creature, What Would You Be?

Once upon a time, I had a boss who thought each employee on his team might benefit from sitting in on an interview. At the time I was working as a Quality Assurance Engineer for coded litigation documents. That fancy title meant I wore the most comfortable clothes possible without their being pajamas, worked in a cubicle corner that looked more and more like a cave every day, and frequently talked to my coworkers so that we didn’t start gnawing the upholstered walls out of boredom.

Quality control is mind-numbingly dull.

I was thus attired and thus mindsetted when said boss (we’ll call him Jim) alerted me to the interview and his expectation that I be there. I had no training in what to say but certainly knew I ought to have put on something fancier than jeans and a sweatshirt. At least I had shoes.

And so I went, attending my suit-clad supervisor. We met an expectant young man in the conference room. His name was(n’t) Mike. He also wore a suit. We shook hands all around and sat and organized papers and I pretended to know what I was doing.

“I see from your résumé that you worked at X…” Jim began. Fortunately, the questions and responses ran just like I’d seen in movies. I nodded at appropriate points, looked stern and interested at others, and added a (hopefully) relevant query when requested.

We were nearly finished, when Jim asked, “If you could be any mythical creature, what would you choose?”

Mike thought for a few seconds, then responded, “A ninja tiger.”

Besides the usual gamut of “Where do you see yourself in five years?,” “What experience do you feel you bring to X Company?,” and “Have you ever been in a stressful situation and how did you handle it?;” I knew some quirky interviewers pulled out a random question for fun (or, to my paranoid mind) for psychological assessment. When Mike, by all appearances a QA nerd, answered the way he did, I was surprised.

But Mike was/is a bit of an odd duck. I knew that because we hired him and I worked with him for at least a year. He enjoyed sitting at home and introvertedly watching hours of television, yet also bowled. And was quite good. He was quiet and reserved but walked the halls in a sort of sliding fashion. Yes, like a ninja. I believe he told me he had a black belt in karate despite having the physique of a toothpick.

Yes, this could very well be a post about judging people. Bad, bad Chelsea. Don’t judge.

I’m more interested in answering the same question posed to Mike: If you could be any mythical creature, what would you choose? I’m interested because of how that classifies us. People are complex beings. Sure, we relate to certain groups and often lump ourselves together with similar personalities and interests. Through a simple question about preferences, however, we can reveal a deeper aspect.

We can reveal a ninja tiger.

I’m not that cool. Most days I behave like a Grick, a “darkly colored worm or snake-like creature” that lays around caves and waits to grab things with its tentacles. Since I get to name my own preference, though, I’d love to be a phoenix or an imp or a dragon.

Flying, right? No-brainer.

How about you? What mythical creature would you choose? For bonus interview points, what do you think that might say about your personality?



In the real world, here’s what I wrote last week:
Wednesday, May 15: Wrote “Just Another Day in the Life,” and learned that I need to stop dusting.

Thursday, May 16: “Suddenly Spring,” a poem about …well, suddenly spring.

Friday, May 17: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb Whittam!

Saturday, May 18: Announced the 26th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is engineering failures, real or imagined. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, May 19: “Tree Search Exclusive Tours, Ltd.,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, May 20: An inspirational quote by Timothy Leary.

Tuesday, May 21:”Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Four.”

Wednesday, May 22: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself,” “Special Projects Take a Lot of Time and Mess,” and “A Poem, I Think.”


©2019 Chelsea Owens

83 thoughts on “If You Could Be Any Mythical Creature, What Would You Be?

  1. I have never been asked anything interesting like that in an interview, Chelsea. I am thinking about what mythological creature I would like to be. I don’t want to be a cannibal or a carnivore so I think I will go with one of Tolkien’s hobbits.The Shire sounds rather pleasant by the end.

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  2. My thoughts immediately flew to Tolkien’s mythology as well. I would like to be one of the Istari (Wise Ones). More like Gandalf than Radagast. Focusing on wisdom, but capable of wielding great power in defense of innocents or a noble cause.

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  3. Oh jeez. Before I answer I just need to comment on that interview question. Despite my colorful rock / insanity blog, I am an HR worker by day, and I would never ask someone that question, it serves absolutely no practical purpose in a business context. But this isn’t Linkedin so i’ll shut up and answer. I would be a big giant dragon with shiny metallic scales, but I would blow out music instead of fire. It would be loud if I was mad. I would have a crown made of windchimes, and i would just fly around for my own pleasure making sounds. I’d probably need an occupation so I’d save people in distress like batman. Failing that, I would be a witch who could blow out all 4 tires on people’s cars when they piss me off during rush hour.

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  4. I would be Athena, goddess of wisdom and poetry. (She’s from Greek mythology so that should still count as mythological.) I have no desire to be a non humanoid. Well maybe an elf, or a good witch. Actually, I want to be Xena the Warrior Princess!

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      1. I watched it too. But mostly because of the actor who played Aries God of War. I thought he was incredibly handsome and the two together had magical chemistry. I used that particular actor as my inspiration for a story I wrote about a dashing pirate. (My version of the ghost and Mrs. Meir). But I loved the Xena character for her strength and independence. I used to do the Xena yell to round up my class on the playground. They bought me a Xena action figure. Lol

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  5. That’s a really cool interview question!

    Being a grick sounds quite relatable…and dragon is a top choice. Although if I was to pick something other than a dragon, I’d go with werewolf 😀

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  6. At first thought, I would say unicorn because they fly, are beautiful and spread joy. But in reality, it’s because I don’t know many mythical creatures. Maybe a fire-breathing dragon would be more like me!

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  7. Many years ago, I was a Quality Assurance Director, Chelsea, and did my share of interviews. I never asked that particular question! Hm. I’d be a mermaid. As a scuba diver, I’m enthralled with the underwater world and feel quite at home there. It would be so cool to explore it without equipment and the limitations of being an air-breather. What does it say about me? Hmm. That I like hanging out in magical other-worlds. 🙂

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    1. If I weren’t a bit terrified of deep water, I might have thought of mermaid. 🙂 Of course, a mermaid wouldn’t be worried about drowning.

      You reminded me that my sister and I wanted to be part of the underwater world after our mom read us Water Babies.

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      1. It’s so different, Chelsea. Animals look like plants and grow out of rocks, fish will school with you, and everything floats! You can swim off underwater cliffs and not fall! An alien world.

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  8. I think the last time I had a job interview was 1988…. I didn’t get asked this question 😉 I have no clue, but will be boring and say “Dragon”, because they are cool. Of course, I want to be a dragon from Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea trilogy (OK, she added to it years later, so no longer a trilogy, and a dragon/person played a super important role in that 4th book…).

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          1. I just discovered there is a fifth book – I need to read it. I haven’t read the original trilogy since I was a kid, but I think I could recite it word for word 😉

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                1. lol, I knew there had to be someone in the world 😉 The best part about it, to me, was the Art Deco space ship. Episode 1 was the 1920s and all High Art Deco, Episode 2 was the 30s, the tail end of Art Deco, but a more realist style (look at the diner, straight out of the 30s!), Episode 3 was a combination of WWII esthetics and modernist 50s. So when Episode 4 came up, all 1970s, it actually fit the time line perfect. I never saw a reviewer that noticed it and to me it was the real genius behind the prequels…

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                2. I never noticed. 🙂 To me, I felt like Episodes 1-3 would have benefited more from suppressing the urge to CGI everything and keep with the cheap, rough, back-of-the-studio look that 4-6 had (out of necessity).

                  Also, I can’t watch Hayden Christensen. Ugh.

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                3. I think the worst part was the urge to make parts of it cute or “exciting”, but worse was following a formula. They all followed the formula, but it was most obvious in 1 – 3.

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  9. I’d like to be a witch – warts and all – because with the price of gasoline these days a broom would save piles of money. And I could turn people I didn’t agree with into toads. Besides, I like the hat. Wizards seem to be nice, witches seem to be nasty; my becoming a witch instead of a wizard would bridge the gender divide.

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      1. I haven’t seen a movie since walking out after 20 minutes of that imagination destroying movie – the first Lord of the Rings. Turning novels into movies should be banned!

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  10. I don’t think I would like to change my shape (except perhaps to lose a few pounds) so I would go with Hermes(Mercury’s) sandals. Put those sandals on and fly anywhere I want. Earn some money delivering for Amazon. Such is my ambition…or lack thereof.

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  11. That’s tough. Like that rather irritating which five people would you have for dinner that i was first asked in 1976 and follows me around. I suppose Snowy because he is a hero goes on lots of adventures and doesn’t have to make decisions. Oh and he’s a dog who never once sniffs a bottom which is the only reason i do not want to come back as a dog…

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  12. This is really interesting Chelsea, some interesting choices. My partner tells me he would be a Kraken (I think it cos he farts a lot) but personally I’d be an imp. I like to make trouble.

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  13. I talked to the saint and he thinks mermaid for me. 😁 I also thought of a Phoenix or a class type from Final Fantasy. Oh so many choices… Excuse me while I go geek out.

    I love mermaids. We have a collection of them going on at the Peregrine household that the saint started. Mermaids are feminine, independent and kill men on the seven seas. Oh wait, that’s harpies. Awkward. 😉🤣

    Mr. Swinebottom could be a genie maybe. Hmm…

    What would you be? This could be a Terrible Poetry idea

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