Why do employers ask weird interview questions? I’ve had clients asked whether they prefer cats or dogs, pens or pencils, red or blue – I mean, it can be pretty ridiculous. Believe it or not; however, there is a method to their madness.
Oddball interview questions take a candidate off-script.
Weird questions can include “this or that” questions, imaginative questions, moral difficulties, or even questions based on logic.
By asking questions that are a bit off-beat, interviewers can gain insight into your thought process, problem-solving skills, and honesty. Employers ask these questions to throw you off your A-game and better understand how you would fit on the team.
While preparing for these questions is a challenge, it isn’t impossible.
Here’s how you can prepare for ‘weird’ interview questions.
Remain calm and confident: you’re supposed to feel thrown.
Employers use these questions to see how you handle situations off-script. Look the interviewer in the eyes, or camera, and remain relaxed – even if you feel a bit thrown. Smile, and let the interviewer know you appreciate the question. To buy yourself a little time before answering, you can even say, “let me think about that for a moment.”
Think about how this question relates to the job, and answer the question honestly.
Answers to moral quandaries should show that you operate with integrity. This-or-that type of questions should show that you process your answer briefly before responding. Logic questions should always have a solution (try to think of one that utilizes a skill you would need on the job – however silly). Don’t ever just say, “I don’t know.”
- Say anything to put down the question or the interviewer (such as “This question is stupid.” or “How does this even relate to the position?”)
- Try to be someone you’re not – the interviewer wants to gauge your personality, so put forth the best version of yourself.
- Get too relaxed – you want to be yourself, but you do not want to be inappropriate.
- Have fun with the answer in a professional way.
- Talk through your answer in a friendly and approachable way.
- Be calm, and remain engaged.
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You know the saying, “There are never small parts, only small actors?” There are never any “silly” questions either! Because you know this, your candidacy will shine above the others.
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