Odd ball questions at interviews have become the norm over the last several years, so much so, that job candidates almost expect them at some interviews. Of course no two companies are alike and while some recruiters like to think up clever ways to trip up candidates, other companies might simply have a set of questions (that’s devoid of trickery) that randomly use to help them determine if job candidates are a fit.
Now just imagine as a job candidate, you have aced an interview by proving your technical and educational proficiency, and have effectively (or so, you thought) answered how you can make an individual contribution to the company as a valued member of the team if you were hired. Then, all of a sudden the recruiter ask; “so where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The recruiter is likely trying to assess how serious you are about your career and how your ambitions fit within the scope of their plans. To some job candidates, this might seem like a natural question. Now image the same question being asked of a second year, university student who is interviewing for a job at a fast food restaurant. The university student know that they are the job in question is simply to help pay for tuition and so, this question might seem downright idiotic and would likely be followed by rolling their eyes, once the recruiter turns their back.
Here is a list of odd ball questions, written by Peter Jones for the Job Network that’s designed with the express purpose of catching an unsuspecting candidate off guard. Job hunters should be careful, not to come off as being snarky with their response, if they are faced with those questions during a job interview.
- “Why do you want this job?”
It is possible to have a good answer to this that talks about your passion for the company and the position and the field, but it’s also a pretty stupid way to phrase it—and not particularly nuanced. Get your revenge by quickly explaining your keen interest and then deflecting by ending your answer with another question. Such as: “I’d really love to hear more about what you’re currently working on here…”
- “Tell me a little bit about yourself”
Keep your response here short and sweet. Don’t actually talk about your life story. Instead, have an elevator pitch ready to encapsulate your career story—where you’re coming from and why you’re a perfect fit. Focus on the professional and finish it off painlessly and quickly.
- “Why should we hire you over all our other applicants?”
You can’t compare yourself to the other qualified applicants. You have no idea who they are or what their resumes look like. All you can do with this question is sell yourself. I.e. “I don’t know about the others, but I can tell you why you should hire me.” And then just pivot to your talents and value.
- “What should we know that isn’t on your resume?”
This is a curveball, and there are a lot of stupid ways to answer it, but it can also be a gift. Here’s your opportunity to explain gaps in employment, or to emphasize skills or experiences that would be relevant to this job but maybe didn’t make the cut on your documents. Frame your answer to show how you’d be great at this job.
- “How honest are you?”
This one is a real doozy. Who in their right mind would say: “Not at all; I’m a total liar.”? Get out of this one by giving a short and straightforward statement about your high ethical standards and remind your interviewer about your available references.
You can read the read the rest of the questions and answers from the blog Smart Answers to 10 Stupid Interview Questions
There is an art and the science to a job interview, try not to let (and be very delicate with that approach) the interviewer get carried away and become too artistic during the job interview process.
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