Prepare for the curveballs!
You've done it! You applied for the job of your dreams and you just got an email inviting you for an interview. The gleeful nerves start to set in and you know that it's time to begin prepping for the big day itself. While you need to prepare answers for the most common interview questions, it pays to think outside of the box. Taking the time to figure out how you might answer the odd unconventional question could make all the difference. Here's how to plan ahead for some of the more unusual recruiter interview questions.
6 uncommon interview question examples
Are you suited, booted and ready for your next interview? Before you head out, take a moment to consider some of the most unusual interview questions you may be asked. Here's a breakdown of some weird and wonderful questions (and how to answer them!).
What animal best represents you in the workplace?
You hardly have to be Freud to deduce the hidden meaning that lies beneath this question. The interviewer is trying to figure out how you will fit into the work environment and what characteristics you're bringing to the table. Say that you're a lion and it means you think you're ferocious and brave. Say you're a mouse and you're meek and mild.
Before you rush to answer this question, take a second to consider how you want the interviewer to perceive you. If you're going for a role in sales, for example, you might want to say you're a flamingo because you're bright, colourful, and know how to stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, if you're going for an admin role, you could say that you're a beaver and are meticulous about how you structure your work. Whenever you're giving your answer, go ahead and expand on the type of traits you think that animal portrays.
Which famous person would you invite to dinner?
Chances are, this uncommon interview question will come towards the end of the interview. It may even be a throw-away question that the recruiter has used as filler. However, choosing a famous person to break bread with could say a lot about your personality. For that reason, it's worth taking the time to consider which celebrity you'd want to take out for the evening. The fact is that it doesn't matter who you choose, so long as you can give a good reason. The interviewer wants to learn more about your personality, your values, and how your mind works.
Be sure to structure this interview answer well. Let's use the example of Taylor Swift. First up, you explain that you would love to have dinner with her, but then you go on to say why that is. You might say that she is a hard-working woman who has become exemplary in her field. If you're going for a creative role, you might say that you admire her skills as a musician and lyricist. Should you be interviewing for a legal role, you could say that you were impressed with the way she took down Scooter Braun by re-recording the music he purchased. There's plenty of scope. The deeper and more well-thought-out your argument, the better.
If you won a large sum of money, what would you do?
Are you money orientated or career orientated? That's what the interviewer is asking with this question. Put simply, they want to understand what drives you forward - progression or a large salary. With that in mind, one of the best ways to answer this interview question is to talk about how the money would support your career. You can say that you'd use it to take a master's degree, for example, or gain further training in your chosen field. Of course, you should also throw in there that you'd book a holiday too… for your work-life balance!
How lucky are you?
What's luck got to do with it? When a recruiter asks you this question, they want to know how much of your success you attribute to luck and how much you attribute to hard work. It's a tricky interview question. Of course, you want to acknowledge any privileges you have. For example, you might have been lucky to have a university education or have been in a position to intern while living at home. Start off by noting these strokes of luck that have helped you.
Next up, talk about your hard work. Say that while there's no doubt that some element of luck has given you success, you have also worked to get where you are today. You might take this opportunity to talk about any sacrifices you've made for your career or the effort you've put in.
How would you rate me as an interviewer?
Oh, how the tables have turned! When an interviewer asks you this question, you might feel like it's a complete curveball. This interview is supposed to be about you, not them. However, this question is likely to be about two things. First of all, everyone needs feedback so that they can improve the next time around. The person interviewing you may not have gone through this process before and may be looking for some pointers. Secondly, the interviewer will be looking for how you critique and evaluate situations. Be analytical and constructive here.
You might talk about the types of questions you've been asked and how they apply to the role, for instance. You could also give feedback on the interviewer's manner and whether they were welcoming when talking about the company. Avoid being overly critical but give advice on how the interviewer may improve their process for upcoming sessions.
What superpower do you wish you had and why?
On the surface, this may sound like a fun and quirky interview question. However, you need to take a moment to think before answering it. You're not in the pub now and saying you want to be invisible so you can spy on your neighbours is unlikely to cut it. Instead, think about what superpowers you could use within the role that you happen to be interviewing for.
For example, if you are going for a role within the customer service sector, you may say that you'd like to be a mind-reader. You can go on to explain that you'd like to always know what customers or clients are thinking so that you can help them quickly. Finish by explaining that you try your best to understand their needs through what they say and their body language.
Interviews can be daunting, at the best of times. So, when you are faced with some uncommon interview questions, you might find yourself thrown off balance. Regain your composure and take a deep breath. You've got this! Figuring out what the interviewer really wants to know is the first step towards success. Answer with confidence.
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