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Some interviewers like to get a little creative and put their interviewees in the hot seat by asking questions that break the classic interview mold. The purpose of these questions is to put you in a pressure situation where you are required to think quickly without losing composure. The benefits of these unusual interview questions are twofold for the interviewer…
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The answers that you provide about yourself allow the interviewee to learn about you on a personal level by providing details of your life and personality that you surely did not write on the resume.
- Your ability to keep composure, and perform under pressure during an interview, is indicative of your ability to handle similarly stressful situations in the work environment.
Although it would be impossible to prepare a list of all of the uncommon interview questions that could possibly be asked of you, here is a sample list below, of a few humdingers. Since, in all likelihood, you will not be able to predict the questions that an interviewer will ask, I do not recommend simply reading over the list, and preparing answers. Rather, I recommend pretending that you are at the interview, and after making a spectacular impression from the first part of the interview, the interviewer sends you a curve-ball of a question. Then look at one question at a time, and try to articulate a good answer. By the way, the full benefit of this exercise will only be realized if you answer aloud. The purpose of this exercise is to help you to develop your ability to think quickly without losing composure at your interview.
So, without further adieu:
What would you do if you didn’t need to work for a living?
What book are you currently reading and why?
What do other people think of you, and is that accurate?
What is the difference between, “to say,” and “to tell.”
If you could ask anybody one question who would you ask and what would the question be, and why?
If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
If you caught a coworker using office equipment for personal use what would you do?
Hopefully, by getting accustomed to answering these types of questions you will become more capable of quickly thinking of good answers, explaining your thoughts, and keeping composure. If all else fails, imagining that the interviewer is wearing a clown hat can take the edge off of a stressful interview.
Most interviews include the usual run of the mill questions, but occasionally there are strange and unexpected questions your interviewer may ask. While you can’t prepare for all strange questions, you can have some idea as to what to expect when you’re faced with one in an interview. The most important thing that you can do is to keep your composure and think about the question before you blurt out an answer.
Above all, be yourself, be confident and answer the questions openly and honestly. If they don’t like the answers, it’s not the company for you.