Unexpected Job Interview Questions

Interview Prep-Work Is Vital - While many of us get excited about the prospects of a new job opportunity, very few of us have the same enthusiasm for the interview. These important gateways to opportunity can be challenging.

Prospective employees who are serious, prepare likewise for interviews.

This includes brushing up on your knowledge of the company you are interviewing with and refreshing your answers to commonly asked interview questions. This also means having any required qualifications available to attest to your suitability.  

What will you do if your interviewer strays from the standard and throws a curveball question?

Did you know that unusual and sometimes whacky questions are being employed more and more as a component of interviews and a part of the candidate selection process? How you respond might make a difference in whether or not you receive the job offer. 

Yes, you can prepare for a curveball question! Looking at possible motivations

Let us look firstly at the motivation of the professionals asking unusual questions. In various online interviews; company heads outlined their motives for including abnormal and sometimes bizarre questions into their list of what-to-ask in an interview. These motivations can be summarized into three main objectives: 

An attempt to see the ‘real’ you

Asking a strange question can give applicants an opportunity to showcase their personality in a way in which the standard and usually pre-rehearsed answers to anticipated questions do not allow.

Some curveball questions can showcase these much better than questions limited to retrieving information regarding specific skills.

Interviewers with experience will specifically seek to get a whole picture of you. They will be aware of what ‘buzzwords’ are out there and will fail to be impressed with a self listing of traits which are predictable and overused. For this reason it is important to come prepared with more than one example of the ‘real’ you in action in previous employment environments.

If you are a recent graduate without solid work histories provide relevant examples from group projects at university, sporting challenges, or extra-curricular activities. Include the acknowledgement that you realize a corporate environment comes with other requirements and concerns and that you are eager to add new skills to your repertoire and are ready to learn.

The key is to be honest about who you really are! When you don’t project yourself as ‘perfect’ you allow for the potential of a better match to be made with mutual benefits to both parties. Management can accurately take your strengths and weaknesses into account and use them to manage your role to the best interests of the company and you.

Rest assured that if the interview gives them a glimpse of you and they like what they see they will be willing to invest in you!

An opportunity to create a scenario

Some interviewers expressed that asking an atypical question sneakily thrown in amongst the standard questions resulted in creating some stress for a candidate. They theorize that this stress thus gave a small glimpse into how an interviewee may deal with real life stressful situations and challenges in the workplace. Others said it gave candidates an opportunity to think on their feet and display how they will deliver under pressure. 

A test of your creativity and originality of thinking

According to some interviewers, bizarre questions are just a doorway through which to better glimpse your style of problem-solving & creativity. How you naturally approach the question itself, notwithstanding your answer, can shed light on what you take note of in a situation & that which you do not.

What is the best answer?

Relax, a best answer is not the point of these questions. Everyone agrees that there is no specific right or wrong way to answer a curveball question. HOW you respond is important! As it demonstrates to your potential employer clues about how you will cope with the unexpected. EAW believes that Honesty is always best.

Keep a foundation of common motives behind why you are being asked a question on the spectrum between silly or serious. This awareness should increase your willingness to add a strategy to being prepared for them into your interview repertoire.

What is imperative is that you keep calm and let your best Self shine through when you answer.

Breathe Deeply

It is okay to be flustered by a curveball question. Do not be pressured into rapidly firing an ill thought response back. Rather take a deep breath and consider the question. If you need a minute to formulate your response then ask for it! Interviewers will be watching closely to how you react and respond so it is important to engage calmly and thoughtfully with the question. Unless you are being interviewed for the position of “Quickest Reflexes”, then take your time & think before you speak. 

Use Perception when Possible

If you can see through the question to its underneath aim, then do so. Don’t be shy to ask for confirmation on what you think the question might be about. If you receive affirmation then this may be your opportunity to dazzle. Take this chance to tout a direct example from your past which applies. Pick one that displays your skills or perseverance paying-off positively for your co-workers, company, or self.

Perception may also lead you to break the interview tension with a laugh and then answer the question if you think the question is an attempt to lighten up the atmosphere.

However, you are not there to prove to the Interviewers that you have taken an online Psychology-Course & can see through their ‘simple-game’. You are there to present yourself honestly. 

Answer Authentically

Whatever your answer is, take ownership of it! While it is natural to want to say the ‘right’ thing or answer in a way which you think will make you ‘look’ the best, this is not the best approach.  It is better to be honest.

In any eventuality you want a workplace and an employer that is going to appreciate your unique individuality and you should be willing to be vulnerable in an effort to showcase this in your answer. You want to be hired, not a false-persona, imagine having to ‘act’ as someone else Monday-Friday 9-5? You should be busy working, not fronting. 

Don’t strike out instead hit it out of the park

Remembering these tips to keep your cool when you answer the unexpected interview question will help.

Let EAW uncover new opportunities and help secure you the interview you want with our expertise and ever changing Job Board. EAW trained professionals will guide you prior to your interview ensuring you are prepared, not only for your interview but for your 1 big chance at securing that dream job!

Be prepared, and field the unusual question with grace. If you can do this you stand a good chance of hitting your interview out of the park! 

Give your future the best chance of success by contacting EAW today! For an advantage that will make a difference. Schedule your assessment appointment today.