Monday, May 15, 2017

How to Answer Weird Interview Questions

By now, most job applicants know that when they get an interview, they need to prepare. Some of the most common interview questions go something like this:

  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your biggest weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why should we hire you?
Along with "Tell me about yourself", these are pretty standard. (Most interviewers have these memorized, and if they don't, they just Google "job interview questions.")

But sometimes, job interviewers like to get a bit creative and ask something like, "If you were a salad dressing, what kind would you be?" or "If you were in charge of Uzbekistan, what is the first thing you would do?"

I don't like these kinds of interview questions because, well, they're stupid. 

But companies often defend such questions, saying it helps them determine a candidate's thinking process and creative abilities. Personally, I suspect that interviewing multiple candidates can get a little boring, so they like to throw in some fun at the applicant's expense by asking: "Why are manhole covers round?"

Here's the best way to prepare for such questions: Don't.

Instead, prepare for the standard interview questions. Practice your answers so that they are genuine and concise. Then, make sure you're dressed properly, show up on time and have researched the company online so you don't ask something dumb like, "What do you do here?" Have at least three questions to ask about the position or the company. (Don't ask about salary or benefits in an initial interview).

These are the things you can do to make a good first impression, and that counts a lot. When they throw that weird question at you, it's OK if you don't have a "perfect" answer. They're really just trying to see if they can fluster you or if you'll burst into tears. But if you've prepared yourself for everything else, then you won't get completely thrown by such oddball questions. Give the answer that pops into your head, having a little fun along the way. Stay upbeat and you'll show that you're a professional who shows up well-prepared and ready to handle whatever is thrown at you.

What are some of the weirdest interview questions you've heard?

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