How To Answer Unusual Interview Questions
Interviews always feel a little daunting. Trying to come across as a highly experienced, talented and employable candidate whilst also ensuring that you appear humble and likable is no easy feat. It’s a lot easier to answer those classic interview questions, you know, the ‘tell us about your last job,’ queries or ‘so what skills can you bring to this role?’ Don’t get us wrong, these are still a little frightening but at least you can understand the purpose of them. As questions alone they are fairly straight forward. Here are 5 examples of slightly more unusual interview questions and how you should attempt to answer them:
1. ‘Why should we hire you?’Try and avoid the obvious ‘so I can make money for food and survival.’ Instead, try to understand what the interviewer is really trying to find out here. Don’t take this question too literally. Although phrased strangely, this is basically another way of asking what skills you can bring to the role. Answer by listing your relevant skill sets and attributes that lend themselves to the role. Remember, always stay positive!
2. ‘Do you prefer Friends or The Simpsons?’This question obviously has a lot of variations. ‘Tell us your favourite TV show?’ or ‘Do you prefer movies or music?’ It may seem unprofessional or strange but your interviewer is just trying to get a sense of your personality with this question. No one wants to work with a zombie! Our advice here would be to stay calm and answer the question as though you were asked this by a friend – (a friend that you’re trying really hard to impress at least!)
3. ‘How many airplanes are in flight above the US at any time?’Don’t worry. You’re not expected to memorize all flight time departures for the entirety of America on the exact day of your interview. What interviewers are really looking for when they ask bizarre questions is how quickly you think on your feet and how well you can handle pressure. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your answer. Or if you happen to know the exact amount of airplanes flying over the US at any time, then you go my friend!
4. ‘What is deaf, dumb and blind, but always tells the truth?’Any sort of riddles or brain teasers are used to test your logic skills. Don’t worry if you can’t figure out the correct answer, that’s not really what the employer is looking for. They just want to see how your brain works, which granted sounds pretty scary! Just try your best to give the interviewer a well thought-out answer that attempts to answer the riddle and you’ll be fine. The actual answer is a mirror, but we’re sure you already figured that out!
5. ‘If you were a Microsoft program, which one would you be?’As well as gaining a sense of your personality this question is a chance to show off your Microsoft knowledge. Like a lot of people, listing ‘Microsoft Programs’ as one of your skills on your CV may come back to bite you if you cannot answer questions about it. Remember to study your CV before an interview and brush up on any old skills you may have claimed to have.
For more advice on how to prepare for an interview, check out our guide on Commonly Asked Questions and How to Answer Them.
Annabel Usher, Editor