4 Behavioral Insights To Help You Ace That Serious Clown Interview — on Funny-ish

Dawn Gernhardt
4 min readJun 14, 2021

Question: Tell us about a time when you were strategic in order to meet your top priorities.

Specific situation: “Identified for my core competency, I was placed at the bottom of a human pyramid. When another clown said, ‘Pull my finger,’ a less empowered performer would have fallen for the gag, tugged the jokester’s finger, released an avalanche of flatulence, and launched a tsunami of guffaws.”
Task: “The best practice considering many moving parts? Hold perfectly still! In the most senior center-middle position, if I shifted, we’d roll like logs. We would’ve collapsed into a tangle of rainbow wigs and oversized buttons, noses, and shoes.”
Action: “My personal vision includes unyielding resolve. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and pressed my face into the elephant dung trampled into the dirt floor of the circus ring.”
Result: “100% of the clowns remained as a solid triangle with me as the trusty linchpin.”

DEADLINES

Question: Describe a situation when you completed a task within a tight timeframe.

Specific situation: “At the rodeo, a bull’s response to prodding and rope can be intense.”
Task: “Safety protocols are my number one priority and a missed opportunity can mean serious injury. I don’t horse around. Riders and fellow staff depend on my timely and fearless yanks, pulls, tackles, and pushes.”
Action: “My paradigm includes both animal and rider athleticism. For example, when a Brahman bucked, the bareback rider lost her grip, flew two stories high, and landed face down, out cold. With a few seconds and no margin of error, I leveraged speed. From behind a barrel, in one fell swoop, I scooped the fallen rodeo star and sprinted towards the chute like a runner on a Pamplona street. At the entrance, I faked right, and dove us over a wooden wall. The frothing rank beast lunged into the pen, I kicked the door shut with my foot, and we all remained safe for a crowd cheering on-time delivery.”
Result: “Of the annual 250 rodeos, I saved over 25 clowns and 50 riders. Thanks to snap reactions and adaptability to the shifting needs and timeframes of a quick changing environment, I thrive by keeping them alive. Deadline? I say…

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Dawn Gernhardt

A writer: nonfiction in Random Sample Review and Pink Panther Magazine and humor in Defenestration, Wry Times, Funny-ish, and The Haven. Working on a novel.