There are effective answers to the “what do you do” question and there are less effective answers to that dreaded question. Recently I heard the worst answer ever to this question.
Seated at a round table of a discussion group, one man was asked, “What do you do?” He answered, “I work in a body shop.” One of the other table members said, “Oh, you work in a garage.” Another person said, “You paint cars?”
The man who said he works in a body shop then said, “I’m a cardiologist, I work in a hospital.”
That is the worst answer ever. Ever. And here is why:
The answer to the “what do you do” question has to fulfill one of two options.
One, it needs to talk about your value so that if the listener never hears another word from you, they know your value.
Two, if the listener wants to follow up, they have learned something of value so they can ask something of value.
When the man said he works in a body shop, neither option happened. The listener was left feeling stupid and sounding stupid. Probably so the speaker could feel superior.
The audience knows nothing of value from that answer. And there is nothing of value that anyone can ask. Anything that is asked just makes the questioner look and feel stupid
There are great answers to the “what do you do” question and there are poor answers. This one wins the award for the worst answer ever.