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So just how do you sell a pencil in a job interview – could this be the answer?

The classic interview question!

At least once in our careers, we have all faced some smug guy across the desk who will suddenly throw an object across the desk to you and say “sell me this”. You look at the object, usually something so commonplace and inanimate that it cannot possibly have any features or benefits but you need the job so you look at the ceiling for inspiration, take a deep breath and plunge in.

Sound familiar?

Try this. Take a standard, simple HB office pencil fitted with an eraser. At some point, the inventor must have tried to sell it to a shopkeeper who perhaps sold quill pens and had to come up with some selling points as to why the guy should take a few dozen of his new invention but what were they?


We have started the ball rolling with a few of our own thoughts - some are stretching it a bit - but would be delighted to hear yours – serious, humorous, brand new or simply bizarre!

Armed with this information, this is one interview question that will never faze you.

Who knows, you may even end up being the CEO!!

Our selling points

  1. Can be sharpened as often as you like to keep your writing looking crisp.
  2. A handy eraser lets you correct writing errors quickly.
  3. A tight fitting band that keeps the eraser securely in place.
  4. A handy tool for reinforcing a point in a meeting!
  5. Sold in a convenient pack to ensure they will last for months and you do not have to keep re-stocking.
  6. Makes a good back scratcher!

2 thoughts on “So just how do you sell a pencil in a job interview – could this be the answer?”

  • Woodworker

    Great post! I always try to have such a list at hand. But I never start with these points. I always start with questions toward the subject I want to sell. Let the client do the talking. Then pick some things up for your story.

  • Bob

    Thanks Woodworker. Have to agree but sometimes I have really felt like giving the most bizarre points just to see their jaw drop!

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