Longer answers to how are you

Longer answers to how are you

Reminder: You are a human being. So when you’re experiencing grief after the loss of a loved one, a well-meaning “How are you?” can seem like the dumbest—or at least the most awkward—question you’ve ever heard. The truthful answer could be anything, but just coming up with that reply might stir up all kinds of feelings. You might find yourself in a mental flurry or fog. Some of the things you might wonder include:

  • How can you possibly ask me that!?
  • Do you really want to know?
  • Even if you do, did you really think I’d spill my guts next to the copy machine?
  • If I tell you, will you be able to handle it?
  • If you handle it, am I going to like your response?
  • Will I feel worse?
  • Will you feel worse?
  • Can someone please get me the hell out of here?

Then, after a grueling micro-second or three, with no real idea what you should say and no real plan to say what’s really on your mind, you just blurt out:

When we’re grieving, this question can seem insensitive and off-putting: “If that’s all you can come up with, then you’re either an unfeeling robot, or you simply don’t care enough to deal with my feelings.” Either way, the invalidation can be overwhelming and often encourages us to protect ourselves by pulling away from others. Better to be alone than to play the game of niceties with no real connection.

Understanding the Question

The key to navigating, “How are you?” is understanding that people often ask it because they don’t have any flipping idea what else to say. It’s filler talk for when you’ve gotta say something, but you’ve got nothing. Also, it’s universal, so you’ll probably hear it from everyone—co-workers you see once a week and close friends you’ve known for years.

So, how do you answer the “How are you” question when dealing with grief?

Answers That May Work for You

Before you respond, you need to know that it is not selfish to think about and protect your own wellbeing. You don’t have to give a thoughtful answer. In fact, if your goal is to exit the situation as quickly as possible, simple responses, such as “I’m fine,” or “It’s been difficult,” may actually be effective. Adding “Thanks for asking” to any of those phrases provides a natural end to the conversation that won’t invite deeper inquiry, and it conveniently offers a brief pause where you can take the opportunity to get the hell out of there. If that kind of exchange feels a bit too hollow for you in the moment, then you can choose to add a dollop of actual truth to your response: “I’ve been better,” “I’m really struggling,” or even a straight up “This truly sucks,” could be just the thing.

When a Friend Asks This Ridiculous Question While You’re Grieving

If the question is coming from someone you care about (and whose support you would welcome), give them a break. Despite how random it may seem, “How are you?” is often a synonym for “I’m uncomfortable with/weirded out by/terrified at the idea of talking about death.” Especially in America, we are not encouraged or conditioned to talk about dying and death, and so when coming face to face with the subject, well, we got nothing. And that includes those who really love you.

At the thought of talking about dying, people freeze up. A hug may be replaced with a wave, eye contact disappears; and then, of course, those three little words: How are you. In total, the package may be interpreted as, “I don’t want to be bothered by your grief,” but in reality, there’s an equal chance that the message is, “I have no idea how to help,” or “I really don’t want to upset you even more.” That’s why those who have grieved before often tend to say the right things. They’ve been there. They know how it feels. And they’re not afraid because they’ve already come face to face with death.

While the thought of teaching someone how to engage with you may feel overwhelming and unfair given all that you’re already shouldering, offering close friends and family the opportunity to learn HOW to engage in the face of death and dying—and more importantly what you need from them—may pay off in the long-run. They receive clarity, you get what you actually need, and it greatly reduces the risk of opening the gulf that is created when “I’m terrified of saying the wrong thing so I’ll just say nothing” is met with “If you cared, you’d know what to say.”

Prepare Some Answers in Advance

A little preparation can go a long way, so spending some time thinking about this in advance can be really helpful. Examples might include:

  • I’m not doing so well today, but knowing you’re there means a lot. Please feel free to keep asking.
  • I’m not sure how I feel right now, but I would love some company in the next few days.
  • This week has been really difficult, but please keep inviting me out. I may not accept for a while, but it helps to know that you’re still thinking of me.

Offering this kind of clarity can be a gift—for your friends, for your family, and for yourself.

You can find more articles about how to deal with grief here.

Grace Y. Lin is a mom, wife and Licensed Behavioral Therapist living and practicing in New York. Visit her website here.

Longer answers to how are you

Job interviews can be nerve-racking experiences, particularly if you have been searching for a new job for a long time. And it might come as a surprise when a potential employer asks you how long you plan on working for them.

This is a tricky question to answer. You don't want to sound as if you're planning to hop from one job to the next, but you also don't want to seem as if you're not planning for your future career. Thinking about how you would respond to this question before your interview will ensure that you are prepared with a strategic answer.

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

An interviewer may pose the question in one of several ways:

  • How long do you expect to remain employed with this company?
  • How long do you think you will be in this role?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

Don't be caught off guard. Sometimes, candidates will blurt out that they are only looking for a short-term stint as they are looking to move across the country or go back to school. While upfront, those responses are not likely to impress an interviewer, and they can swiftly get you removed from the candidate list.

Hiring and training new employees is an expensive process. By bringing you on, the company is investing a significant amount of time and money into you.

The employer wants to know that their investment will pay off, not that their money will be wasted if you plan to quit in six months.

How to Answer “How Long Do You Plan on Working Here?”

If the interviewer asks, “How long do you expect to be employed with this company?” don’t say the first thing that comes into your head. Before your interview, give this question some thought. If you want the job, don’t say that this is just a short-term gig for you.

That said, there is no need to lie or give the wrong impression if you do not plan to be with the company long-term. Instead of misrepresenting your intentions, focus your response on saying something positive about the employer, your level of engagement, and your enthusiasm for the position.

Let the employer know why working for them is very attractive to you. Note specific aspects of the job that appeal to you and would encourage you to stay on for a long time.

If you know you are going to be relocating to another city in two years and you work, for example, in retail, you should say so (although you might also add that you hope, if you do excellent work for their store, that the retail chain might ultimately find a position for you in the city you are relocating to).

Plans change, but you want to make sure that you are honest about what can be expected of you. On the other hand, if you plan on it being a long-term position, say so.

If you are asked, “How long do you think you will be in this role?” or “Where do you see yourself in five years?” you can mention that you hope there will be opportunities for career advancement for you within the company.

Examples of the Best Answers

Try out these responses to the question, "How long do you expect to work at our company?" These answers are a safe way to respond to the question. They do not give a specific timeline, but do demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and the company.

I'm excited about the research and innovations your company has delivered in the past few years. I've been looking for a position with a dynamic company engaged in the community and your organization certainly fits that description. I think this role is a great match for my skills and experience and that it would offer me a chance to grow professionally. I expect to be here for as long as I can make contributions.

Why It Works: This answer works because the applicant ties a forward-looking organization’s research and development to the skill set the applicant possesses to let the interviewer know that they plan to remain with the company as long as it is a good fit.

Because my spouse is in the military, we will likely be moving in two years, but I would like to work here steadily until then.

Why It Works: This answer works because you are being honest with the interviewer about your situation, but you are also expressing your desire to work.

I would prefer to stay long-term, if possible. I like the flexible hours you offer, which would work well with my other commitments, such as my studies (or children, family, etc.).

Why it Works: This is a good answer because it reflects the applicant’s good fit with the company culture.

I don't have any immediate plans to move on. I'd like a job where I can have continuity and be part of a team.

Why It Works: This expresses commitment to the company and the team that you’ll be working with. It also shows the interviewer that you plan to stay with the company.

Tips for Giving the Best Answer

Focus on the Positive. Say something positive about the company, that you are excited to interview for the position, and that you would be happy working there.

Talk about the aspects of the job that appeal to you and would encourage you to stay.

Mention Company Culture. Mention that the company culture seems to be a good fit for your skill set.

Discuss Recent Developments. Talk about a recent industry or company development and how that fits in with your goals.

Consider References. If you are applying for a retail or service position, be as honest as possible when you answer. You don’t want to mislead a potential supervisor, as you may need to use him or her for a reference at some time in the future.

What Not to Say

Don’t Misrepresent Your Intentions. Above all, don’t lie. If you know you will only be at the company for two years, say so. In some industries and occupations, you wouldn't even be expected to stay longer than that. We can’t say anything with certainty because anything can happen. All you can do is be as honest as possible.

Don’t Volunteer Too Much Information. While being honest, make your answer short. There is no need to give a lengthy explanation of your plans for the future. Keep your response focused on the job at hand and what you would contribute to the company if hired.

Want to learn a few new ways to say “How are you?” in English? This is a question English speakers ask all the time. When we meet someone new, bump into a colleague at work and especially when we meet friends. It can get a bit repetitive to always ask the same question, we are here to help: You can ask “How are you” in English in a formal way, informally or even in slang. Here are a few ways to use different variations.

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General ways to ask “How are you?” in English

How are you?

We can’t leave this one out. It’s one of the most basic phrases in the English language and you can use it in any context. With friends, colleagues, your boss, your teacher… it’s always good. The usual response, certainly in the English-speaking world is “Fine, thanks”, or “Good, thanks”. We would answer in this way even if the sky is falling around us. So a formal “How are you?” isn’t always a question that invites a truthful answer.

How’s it going?

“How’s it going?” is a bit more informal than “How are you?”. But, it’s still a very good general phrase you can use with most people. In English speaking countries, it would be fine to use this phrase with someone more senior than you (like your boss), provided you have a bit of a relationship with them. But, again, the answer is likely to be, “Good, thanks”, even if it’s not true.

How’s everything?/How are things?

This is a question you would ask someone you know. It implies that you know a bit about their life and that you don’t mind hearing about it. So you could ask a colleague, “How’s everything?”, and they might answer, “All good, thanks. That project I was working on…”.

What’s been going on?

This is another good question to ask someone you know. It invites them to tell you a bit about their life and what has happened since you last saw them. So you’re more likely to hear a truthful answer to this question than you are if you ask ‘How are you?’.

"How are you?" These are the three most useless words in the world of communication. The person asking doesn't really want to know, and the person responding doesn't tell the truth. What follows is a lost opportunity and meaningless exchange with zero connection.

But the key to making the most out of small talk, according to Harvard researchers, is to simply ask the other person follow-up questions. In a series of experiments, researchers analyzed more than 300 online conversations and found that those who were asked more meaningful follow-up questions (a.k.a. questions that aren't "how are you?" or "what do you do?"), found the other person much more likable.

"When people are instructed to ask more questions, they are perceived as higher in responsiveness, an interpersonal construct that captures listening, understanding, validation and care," the researchers wrote.

So how do you move from tongue-tied to being a charismatic and interesting person? It depends on the question you start with, and then you can focus on the stream of follow-up questions.

Here are seven tactics to having a meaningful conversation:

1. Use the A.C.T. trick to start a connection

When was the last time you were in a meeting that didn't start with small talk? It's a natural way for people to connect. Start with a question that will build up to a conversation that meets the A.C.T. criteria:

  • A – There's authenticity
  • C – There's a connection
  • T – There's a topic that will give them taste of who you are

Some of those questions might be:

  • "What's your current state of mind?"
  • "What are you looking forward to this week?"
  • "You remind me of a celebrity, but I can't remember which one — who's someone you relate to?"

2. Move beyond the "hourly update"

The fallback for a lot of people is like the newscast "hourly update" — traffic, sports, weather and so on.

Drill this into your head: It is a horrible icebreaker. There are a few exceptions, like if it's a genuine interest of yours and your boss or colleague shares that passion. But try to move beyond those cliché topics to things that are more important and personal to you.

3. Be in the moment and observe your surroundings

Open your eyes before you open your mouth. Find something to focus on in your surroundings, like the piece of art on the wall, a quirky gadget or family picture on their desk, a race car helmet, scattered coins from various countries and so on. There's bound to be something that will spark small talk and help lead the conversation into unique follow-up questions.

Let's say you're talking to the CEO of a large, iconic company who is about to retire, and you noticed a row of empty boxes along the wall of the CEO's office. You might start with the question, "How hard is it for you to leave this job?" This will lead to a much deeper and more emotionally revealing discussion, and it never would've happened had you not noticed those boxes.

4. Share some news (that actually happened)

If you have "news," share it: "I adopted a pet over the weekend" or "My 6-year-old rode a bike for the first time yesterday!" Believe it or not, most people actually do want to know more about others, especially if they both work at the same company.

If you're new to a company and leading a team, for example, start your first meeting by going around the room and asking each person to say one interesting thing that recently happened in their lives. As a result of that momentary sharing, you've allowed everyone to feel more personally and genuinely connected with each other.

The objective to is be genuine and not simply make something up. Otherwise, you run the risk of not knowing how to answer follow-up questions about something you have little or no experience with.

5. Talk early

Whether you're meeting in person or dialing in for a conference call, talk early.

If you wait, two things will probably happen: One, someone else will make the comment you wanted to make and, two, your more talkative colleagues will take over with their own follow-up questions. You'll get lost in the cross-talk and miss your chance.

6. It's not just what you say

No matter what or how much you say, your tone of voice, facial expression and eye contact will broadcast so much more.

In person, look at the other person when you speak, not at the conference table or the wall. On the phone, smile — it will make your voice sound warmer. It's not just what you say, but how you say it, that will help others connect with you.

7. Make the pivot

This is where small talk goes to the next level, as you segue from talking about something small to the issue at hand.

If the conversation is already flowing, it will be easier than you think and ask follow-up questions. Your boss could be the one to make the first step, "So, tell me what's going on with [X]." Thanks to the small talk, you'll already be in sync. You can then pivot to a more meaningful discussion that showcases your knowledge, contribution and confidence.

Just do it

For introverts, small talk can be painful. But if you say nothing in those moments before a meeting starts or when you and your boss are in the elevator, you run the risk of becoming invisible.

First, give yourself a break. Almost everyone is intimidated by others, especially those who outrank them. (I remember feeling self-conscious when I met with a four-star general at the Pentagon. And again feeling that way in a meeting with Britain's then-Prime Minister David Cameron. But I took a deep breath and spoke up anyway.)

It's natural to defer to authority. You are who you are, and no one is expecting a soliloquy out of you. But when you make an effort to speak up, others will listen and connect with you.

Gary Burnison is the CEO of Korn Ferry, a global consulting firm that helps companies select and hire the best talent. His latest book, a New York Times best-seller, "Lose the Resume, Land the Job," shares the kind of straight talk that no one – not a spouse, partner, mentor or anyone else – will tell you. Follow him on LinkedIn here.

I’m sure one of the very first things you learned to say in English was, “How are you?” People will probably ask you this question A LOT! It’s really easy to answer, but there are a few things to remember. Here’s how to feel comfortable answering this question, every time.

1. “How are you?” is Simply Another Way to Say Hello — Here’s How to Answer

Most of the time, we use this question as a polite way to say hello, and you don’t need to say anything about how you are really feeling. Say one or two positive words, thank them for asking, and ask them the same question. Any of these answers will work almost all of the time:

“Great, thank you. How are you?” (very positive)

“Good, thanks, and you?” (positive – this is the most common answer)

“Fine, thanks. How are you?” (a little less positive – I’m okay)

Your answer will depend on the person who is asking, and how well you know them.

2. “Hi, Boss, how are you?”

If you are in a business situation, you might be saying hello to your boss or colleague, or meeting someone for the first time. You need to answer briefly, but in a positive way. “Great!” “I’m doing really well, thank you,” or “Fantastic!” are all good ways to answer. They will tell the other person that you are enthusiastic and ready to work. You might be shaking hands, too. Here’s how that conversation might go:

Mr. Brown: Good morning, Mr. Mendoza. How are you today?

Mr. Mendoza: I’m good, thanks. And you?

Mr. Brown: Great, great, thanks. (shaking hands)

Two things to notice here:

  1. The answer is short and positive, even if you have had a terrible day.
  2. Many times, people will answer with the word “good.” Good is an adjective, and can describe you, so it’s okay to use with the verb “to be.” You can also say “I’m doing well.” Well is an adverb, and it describes how you are doing or feeling.

3. How to Answer “How Are You?” When Meeting Strangers and Other Formal Situations

If you are talking to a waiter, a cashier at the checkout, or if you’re being introduced to a person in a casual situation, your answer can be a little different. Let’s look at a sample:

Cashier (as she checks you out): Hi, how are you today?

You: Fine, thanks. It’s a beautiful day.

Some things to notice here:

  1. “How are you?” is just a way of greeting someone in a polite way.
  2. Don’t say anything personal. For example, don’t tell the cashier that you are buying medicine because your child stayed home sick from school today.

4. How to Answer “How Are You?” When Hanging Out With Friends in Casual Situations

Your friends will probably ask you the very same question, but It might sound a little different! You might hear:

How are you doing?

Here’s the nice thing – when you are with friends and family, you can tell the truth! If you are talking to people who care about you, you can tell them that you’ve had a bad day, or that you feel tired.

One thing you still shouldn’t do is answer with a complete description of some medical problems you are having. If you are talking to a friend, you can offer more information if they ask (and if they are your friend, they probably will!) Here’s a conversation between friends:

Marta: Hi, John! How are you?

John: I’m fine, maybe a little tired. I need some more coffee.

Marta: Oh, I’m sorry. Did you sleep well last night?

John: Not really. I had a headache when I went to bed, and I still have it this morning.

A couple things to see:

  1. The question is the same! “How are you?” works for both formal and informal conversations.
  2. The answer is more personal, but still doesn’t give much information. If your friend wants more information, they will ask you.

So, How Are You?

Remember, “How are you?” is usually just another way to say hello. If you smile and say “Good, thanks,” you’ve successfully answered the question.

And extra points if you also ask, “How are you?” in response!

Now, what if you hear a different question? For example, many native English speakers will ask you “How have you been?” instead of “How are you?” So how do you answer that question? Find out in this lesson (click here)!

In the before time, “How are you?” was a simple pleasantry. No one ever really meant it when they asked. It was a prompt, a mere introduction, a segue into a larger conversation.

However, in the middle of total social collapse, being asked “How are you?” has become a lifeline for many who have felt the real weight of loneliness, and some may feel compelled to grab the opportunity to spill their emotional guts.

There’s an ever-growing pandemic. We’re in the midst of what can only be described as a chaotic presidential election, millions are on the brink of financial ruin, and thousands more are marching in the streets night after night fighting for racial justice. So when someone asks, “How are you?” it’s only natural to want to respond, “You know what? I’m not great. Not great at all. In fact, I’m terrible, thanks, how are you?”

It’s official, California: COVID-19 has left us sick with worry and increasingly despondent. And young adults — ages 18 to 29 — are feeling it worst.

But how deep is too deep an answer to give to family, friends, co-workers or the checkout person at the supermarket when they ask the polite question?

“Isolation is not a good counselor,” says Dr. Anthonio Damasio, a professor of neuroscience, psychology and philosophy as well as the director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC. “Loneliness is not good medicine ever, but it’s even worse medicine if you are at risk in the middle of a pandemic.” (The author of this story is an adjunct professor at USC.)

When this at-risk demographic is asked, “How are you?” some may feel more inclined to share, or even overshare, as it might feel like their one chance at a caring ear, Damasio says.

“Some people are by nature more open to sharing things,” he says. “I don’t think that has disappeared just because we are in the middle of bad times, health-wise and politically. That’s just reality. Some people are fundamentally more prone to sharing things that otherwise would be thought of as irrelevant or inappropriate.”

Mindfulness meditation can help provide clarity during anxious moments. Use our tips to stay calm during the coronavirus outbreak and other stressful events.

However, the appropriateness of just how deep one gets on the contents of their personal 2020 hell should still be controlled by context. Context of how the person asked and who is asking.

“You don’t want to go into a story about your own problems when you are being asked something from a person that you hardly know,” Damasio says. “Some kind of caution and modesty is recommended.”

Sometimes there’s more nuance to how one should respond, according to Elaine Swann, an etiquette expert for more than two decades.

“People are taking these opportunities to say, ‘You know what, I’m not doing well.’ So when we ask this question, we really need to be more thoughtful as opposed to just stating the question without expecting to hear a real response,” she says.

As for how far people can go when sharing their emotions, Swann offered some advice.

With family

Here’s where people can jump right into the deep end with their emotions, according to Swann. “If a family member were to ask you how you’re doing, not only can we be more transparent, we absolutely should be because these are the folks who are closest to us,” Swann says. “They are the ones who may be able to be that listening ear or rally up other family members to let them know that we need more care and support. We should intentionally share more with our family members right now than anyone else.”

Sample convo:

With friends

While you can be open with friends, Swann cautions to save your most forthcoming revelations for your trusted inner circle. “Depending on the connection that you have with your friend, it is good to share,” she says. “I think people will take your cue in terms of how deep you go. Some individuals are looking for opportunities to be supportive, and they just won’t know unless you share. We should not be going through this entire experience alone.”

Sample convo:

With co-workers

Here’s one that may surprise you. Swann says you not only can feel free to be honest with your co-workers, but that you should make an effort to share. “I think because of the fact that we spend so much time with our co-workers, it is important for us to be fairly open and honest with them,” she says. “When we do this, it helps stabilize your work environment so that if you do let folks in and give them a peek of what you’re going through, it can really help you in your work environment. People will be more compassionate toward you if you’re not finishing projects or things aren’t coming together so well. We can’t walk into the workplace right now with letting people think that everything is OK when really things are not.”

Sample convo:

With strangers

Now it’s time to zip it, according to Swann. “With total strangers, I do think we should refrain from sharing too much,” she says, noting it may not be a good idea to burden others with our issues when they can’t do anything to help us and may feel worse once we leave. “We have to be very careful that we don’t unload our challenges onto the other person and then walk away, because there’s nothing they can do about it. The difference between a friend, a co-worker or a family member is that even though you may share information with them that is somewhat unpleasant, there is something they can do. Your co-worker can help you take the load, your friends can call and check in on you, your family members can activate other family members to help, but that stranger really cannot do anything.”

I’ve dubbed this process “Making the Mundane Memorable,” and you’re presented with myriad opportunities to do so throughout your job search. Especially when interviewers, strangers and colleagues constantly ask you, “So, how are you today?”

Sure, it’s an overused and otherwise boring question. Not to mention, most people who ask it don’t actually care how you are. They’re either: 1) being nice, 2) breaking the ice, or 3) reverting into a predictable routine of psychological self-disclosure and cliché conversation.

But here’s the cool part: If you make the choice to leverage this mundane moment, you will instantly double your memorability.

I know this because I’ve been wearing a nametag 24/7 for 3,237 consecutive days. And strangers break the ice with me every day because of it. Some say hi, some introduce themselves, and some stop me in the middle of the aisle at Wal-Mart and ask me if I can tell them where to find the lime-green thongs they saw on sale in this week’s ad.

Either way, some encounter that otherwise wouldn’t have existed did occur, all because of approachability.

Here’s why: Curiosity is a natural motivator of human engagement. And there’s a certain sociological dissonance when people observe an unexpected or unexplained behavior. Especially when it’s inconsistent with their environment. (Like some random guy wearing a nametag.)

And that’s the secret: Because it’s that dissonance that increases the probability of a memorable encounter.

Your challenge as an unemployed professional is to stimulate curiosity, break patterns and attract interest when people ask you questions.

See, when someone asks you, “So, how are you?” you have a choice:

Be mundane or be memorable.
Be interesting or be unemployed.
Be unforgettable or be unemployable.

For example: You walk into a job interview. You’re prepared, well rested and hopped up on coffee, and you look like a hundred thousand bucks. Perfect.

When you extend your hand to greet your interviewer, she predictably asks, “So, how are you today?”

Stop right there. Don’t answer yet.

Remember the key question of approachability: “What could I do, in this moment, that would be the exact opposite of everyone else?

Let’s explore several potential answers to this question:

Terrible. Fine is a lie. Nobody is fine. Fine is an acronym for “Feelings I’m Not Expressing.” Don’t say it.

Weak. Here’s why: First, good was good enough. Then great was good enough. Now, great isn’t that great anymore. Interviewers demand wow. So: You need to be amazing. Like, scary good. Everything else is your ante.

Getting better. Positive and energetic. A little unexpected, but still fairly common. Still, I think you can provide something more interesting.

4. “Ready to rock.”

Nice! Sounds confident yet playful. Not for everybody, but if it fits your personality and the personality of the company interviewing you, go for it.

My personal favorite. For years I’ve been answering the question, “So, Scott, how are you?” with this word. People notice it. People remember it. People ask follow-up questions about it. Because they’re curious. Works every time. Not to mention, the word perfect comes from the Latin perfectus, which means, “complete.” Which means it’s always the truth. Because all of us are always complete. Don’t forget that.

6. “Everything is beautiful!”

Now that’s what I’m talking about. When I first started my publishing and consulting company in 2002, I got a part-time job as a valet, crashing (I mean parking) cars nights and weekends. Interestingly, the overnight bellman was a guy named Henry who said, “Everything is beautiful!” daily. He was also voted Employee of the Year five years in a row. Coincidence? Maybe. Better than your answer? Absolutely.

7. Create your own answer.

None of these examples hit home? No problem. Make a list of 10 unique, memorable and unexpected answers to the boring question, “So, how are you today?” Experiment with words and expressions that are consistent with your personal brand and philosophy. Try a new one each day. Have some fun with it. You’ve got nothing to lose.

OK! Back to your job interview…

If you recall, you’re about to meet the person who very well could decide the fate of your very career.

She smiles, reaches out her hand and asks, “So, how are you today?”

Will you make the mundane memorable?

Will you leverage remarkability to trigger an emotional engagement?

Will you get noticed, get remembered and get the job that will save you from this horrible economy?

Or, will you respond like the other 37 (equally qualified) candidates she’s already met this week by predictably saying, “Fine”?

The choice is yours.

Either stand out from the crowd or stand in line at the unemployment office.

Let me ask ya this:

What could you do in this moment that would be the exact opposite of everyone else?

Longer answers to how are you

People tend to ask the same questions whenever you see them, which is why you should have a few different replies to “How are you?” You don’t want to give the same, bland answer all the time. Your friends will expect you to say “fine” or “good,” so shake things up by providing an unexpected answer. Here are some of the most humorous replies to “How are you?”

1 I’m Better on the inside than I Look on the outside

This one works well when you’re still in your pajamas or are having a bad hair day. You don’t want others to assume that you feel as horrible as you look, so this is the way to set them straight. It’s one of the best replies to “How are you?”

2 Can’t Complain. I’ve Tried, but No One Listens

“Can’t complain” is a normal response to the question, but by throwing in the following sentence, you should get a laugh. I mean, no matter how amazing our lives are, there’s always something to complain about. It’s impossible for things to be perfect.

3 Hopefully Not as Good as I’ll Ever Be

This one is a bit depressing, which is why you should watch when you use it. It’s best to say when you’re in a horrible situation, like in a class you can’t stand.

4 If I Was Any Better, Vitamins Would Be Taking Me

Here’s one to use when you’re having a spectacular day. Things can’t get much better and you want the world to know. Of course, you don’t want to brag, which is why this funny line is useful.

5 Okay. I’d Be Better if You Asked Me out

If your crush asks you how you are, you might as well be honest. Let them know that you’re itching to go on a date. Who knows, they might just do it.

6 If I Was Any Finer, I’d Be China

This one is bound to get a laugh. No one will expect to hear it, so you’ll be catching your friends off guard. They might even steal it to use in the future.

7 Living the Dream

If you’ve been stuck inside doing chores and homework all day, and your parents ask you how you are, what response do they expect? You don’t want to be rude, but it’s okay to give them a little sarcasm by using this phrase.

8 Better than I Was a Minute Ago, Because You’re Here

Here’s another way to respond to your crush. It lets him know that you love spending time together. Hopefully he’ll compliment you right back.

9 Okay, Because My Name Wasn’t in Today’s Obituaries

Everyday that you’re on the right side of the grass is a good day. Even if life is rough, be happy that you’re still alive. It’s quite the accomplishment.

10 Things Could Be Worse; I Could Be You

Make sure the person you say this to is able to take a joke. Save it for your best friend, but avoid using it on your teacher. You want to make them laugh, not yell.

11 Stop Being so Nosy

If you don’t want to explain how you’re feeling, then don’t. There’s no reason why you should have to express emotions to whoever asked. Tell them to stop being nosy and avoid answering.

12 I’m Still Sucking Air

This one kills me! Haha basically a sassy way to say, “I’m still alive.” but it’s just so blunt and funny. I think it’s a great response when you’re possibly feeling cranky.

13 Physically? Mentally? Spiritually? Socioeconomically? Financially? I’m Not Sure How to Answer That!?

This one is good. Everyone always thinks being asked how you are means your health or a general standing-but what about if it isn’t? This one gets to the point of what they want to know, it’s humorous, and it makes ya think.

14 If I Had a Tail, I Would Wag It

Everyone knows a happy dog wags his tail, so if you’re feeling happy and joyful, this would be a good response to give to someone asking how you’re doing because it’s clever and unique.

15 I’m Taking over the World

Feeling confident? This is a good response to throw out there. Definitely will catch your casual convo counterpart off guard and will probably bring a chuckle.

16 Not Bad. Could Be Better. Could Be Payday

Everything is always better on payday right!? Haha use this humorous response to make someone laugh-you never know, you just might brighten their day.

17 Wondering How You Are

Turning the question around on them without actually having to answer? Brilliant! It’s definitely a better reply than the standard, “I’m fine.”

You’ll be asked how you are almost every single day, which is why you should add some humor to your answers. How do you usually respond to the question?