The interviewer asked this would-be companion for his father what she would do when the father was watching television or reading. "I would be in the next room writing my autobiography" is what she answered.
Of course, she didn't get the job. And when she told her neighbors about the answer she gave, those with successful careers gasped. Because I work in communications, several of them recounted that tale to me.
Appropriate responses would have included, "I would be in the room with him, monitoring if he needed anything and helping him feel he was a part of things." And she would have known that had she taken acting lessons on how to portray the Ideal Employee. The plight of the chronically unemployed might be solved if those who never get hired are trained how to present the persona who will be hired.
That coaching in acting would include what to say, facial expressions, body language and what behaviors, such as taking notes, to do. After each interview, both the acting teacher and the other students being coached would assess what might have been performed well and what undermined playing the role of Ideal Employee.
In professional life, the most successful are often those who are most skillful at playing the part of banker, entrepreneur, artist or therapist. They are not necessarily the best at what they actually do.