Job interviews. One unavoidable aspect of job hunting that can make even the most competent candidate nervous. Most of us think we know what sort of questions to expect at interview, and with the right preparation will have jotted out answers to the “tell us about a time when…” “do you have experience in…” or “tell me about yourself,” type questions that seem to be standard form, but how do you react when the interviewer catches you completely off guard?
Most of us have faced challenging questions during our professional careers that have left us unsure of how to answer, and it’s safe to say that interviews can be nerve-wracking. But it’s worth remembering that most interview questions aren’t designed to trip you up, but instead to draw out demonstrable examples of your skills and experience. After all, the employer wants to finish the interview feeling confident that you could meet the specific needs of the role, so for the most part they want to hear evidence of your work achievements or skill set. But every now and then, a candidate is thrown the odd curveball question that’s just a little bit, well, odd.
Luckily, the internet is on hand to provide us with thousands of strange interview question examples, as shared by candidates who have thankfully experienced these situations before you have had to, so you can stay one step ahead in today’s competitive jobs market. Aside from offering some light-hearted reading, it’s also very useful to have a look at some sample questions. This enables you to have a think about the sort of challenging questions you could face, making interview preparation that little bit easier. Here is our pick of the best bizarre interview questions – followed by the best way to approach such strange questions during an interview.
- What magic power would you like to have?
- If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?
- What star sign are you?
- Have you ever driven a train?
- Do you prefer your food out of a machine or a cafeteria?
- Why are manhole covers round instead of square?
- How honest are you?
- Describe the process and benefits of wearing a seat belt.
- What talent would you audition with on Britain’s Got Talent?
- How would you design a spice rack for a blind person?
We’ve selected our favourites, but just listing them isn’t going to help you if you get blindsided with one of these questions at your next interview! Think about how you would go about answering these questions. If you’re thinking “I’ve no idea!” remember that for most, there is no right or wrong answer. For the majority of the above examples, it’s likely that the interviewer would be looking to see either how you handle unexpected situations (ability to cope with pressure), your rationale and thought process (how you arrive at your answer), or they may even just want to see evidence of your personality. So the main thing to keep in mind, is why the question is being asked rather than the answer itself.
The most important thing to remember here is to never panic. You’ve already turned heads with your CV, you just need to show that that you’re not easily flustered. The hiring manager will hope that you remain calm, because this is a great demonstration of how you handle a tricky situation. Try to appear confident – even if you don’t really feel it. Take a deep breath and consider your answer. If you’re not sure how to respond, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a moment to think about it. If you’re utterly stumped, ask if you can come back to that question later on in the interview. If it’s the end of the interview and you’re out of time, follow up with a thank you email that includes a concise answer to the unanswered question.
Many candidates are hired for how they react to certain situations as much as they are for technical ability. Interviews are designed to test whether you have the skill set and personality for the job, so always try and relate your answers back to the specific capabilities you know the employer wants to see.
Finally, keep in mind that weird interview questions aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Industry resource site Glassdoor reported a statistical link between a difficult interview process and greater employer satisfaction later on in the job, after collating research from six countries. So perhaps bizarre interview questions are a sign that the role could be the job of your dreams!
Have you ever had an uncomfortable interview moment or been completely bewildered by an interview question? Share your stories with us on Facebook or Twitter and let us know how you dealt with this situation!