Simply sitting down for a job interview can be unnerving enough, but what if the interviewer throws you a crazy curveball question: “If you could be any planet besides Earth, which one would you be?”
Even if you knew a curveball was coming, it can be difficult to deal with. Do you take a swing? Or, do you let it fly past you and into the catcher’s glove? The answer is: Take that swing.
1.) The Unusual Is Becoming Usual
Several surveys of companies have shown that around half of all organizations use unconventional interview questions in their hiring processes. Like many things in the business world, odd questions appear to be en vogue these days, and the thinking behind these questions is an interviewer can ‘read the tea leaves’ of a candidate’s personality through their answer.
2.) Taking the Strange Seriously
Most companies put a lot of thought into their interviewing process, and one of the worst things you can do when they throw you a curveball is to dismiss it with a one-word answer, or even worse – laugh at the oddness of the question.
Typically, these questions are geared to either assess your critical thinking skills or see how you cope with the unexpected. Start by making sure you have heard the question correctly. Then, give an honest response that steers the interview back to the position you are interviewing for, the company, the industry or simply being a professional.
Since ‘practice makes perfect’ – incorporate oddball questions into your preparation process. Tell a family member or friend to toss in a weird question or two during interview prep and give you honest feedback on how you did.
3.) What Weird Questions Are Really Asking…
“What’s your favorite movie?”
This and other open-ended questions are opportunities for you to show off your quick-thinking abilities and relate it back to the interview. “The Goonies is great because it’s about camaraderie” is a good answer because it suggests you value team-working skills.
“If I gave you 3 tasks, all of equal importance, how do you know which one to do first?”
This type of question is trying to assess a candidate’s prioritizing skills and workflow habits. The best way to answer is to talk about possible deadlines, your available resources and using proven methodologies. The final answer isn’t important here – mapping out your thought process is.
“Do you believe in Bigfoot?”
This isn’t the time or place for you to discuss your theories on finding Sasquatch. The question is purely designed to throw you off your game, and the best thing you can do is steer the interview back to familiar waters. A good answer might be, “A Bigfoot living a solitary life in the woods would be difficult, in the same way that going it alone on a project can be more challenging than working with others.”
At CAREEREXCHANGE®, we’ve heard almost every oddball question and can help job candidates get prepared for interviews. Work with one of the top talent acquisition firms in Florida to help advance your career today.
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