9 Unusual Questions You Might be Asked in Your Job Interview
On the flip side, hiring managers too have a hard task at hand trying to evaluate job candidates and pick out the best ones from the lot.
Savvy recruiters, therefore, try to posture their questions in a manner that enables them to glean a ton of information about different candidates.
So don’t be surprised if an interviewer throws a volley of rather unusual questions at you. It just means they know their job well, which makes it even more imperative for you to be prepared to take these questions head-on.
Here’s a list of nine most unusual ones that you might be asked at a job interview, and few pro-tips to interpret and answer them well:
- Why should we not hire you?
Now, you may have a whole list of reasons prepared as to why you are the most suitable candidate for the job.
But being asked why you shouldn’t be hired can throw you off your guard a bit. No matter how unexpected the question seems, do not start mumbling out a list of reasons to not hire you.
The best possible response here is to say you can’t think of a single reason why.
- How was the last company you worked with different from ours?
When a direct comparison is drawn between your previous and potential employer, it can be a bit of a tricky situation.
You can neither eulogize nor criticize your previous employer here. The idea of this question is to ascertain whether you understand the business objectives of the two organizations.
To avoid trouble, stick to the specifics and facts.
- Have you ever had disagreements with people in senior positions?
A lot of people may be tempted to play it safe here and answer in the negative. The underlying purpose of this question, however, is to weed out the ‘yes men’ from the list of applicants.
A company that aims to grow needs diversity of thought and not people who are ready to bend over backwards to please their bosses.
- Which superhero would you like to be?
No doubt this question is a humorous one – often thrown to lighten up the mood – the interviewer will analyze your response keenly.
So, use it as an opportunity to break the ice by all means, but remember to tailor your answer keeping in mind the job profile you are aiming for.
Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman are all fine, as long as you can back up you reply with a logical explanation.
- To what use can you put a stapler without staples?
Yes, this is almost as bizarre as it gets but we are talking unusual stuff here. If such a question is tossed your way, remember the interviewer doesn’t care much about the stapler.
What they want to know is how innovative and out-of-the-box can you be in your approach. Think of a smart, unusual response that will make you stand out in the memory of your interviewer.
- Do you prefer cats or dogs?
This is just a smart way for an interviewer to know what kind of character you possess, as there is a prevalent belief that your preference for dogs or cats is dominated by certain personality traits.
You can tailor your response according to the job you are interviewing for. For example, if it is a long-term project, saying that you are a dog person my send across the message that you give priority to loyalty.
Answering this question confidently also sends across a message that you are aware of your skills and personality traits.
- Tell Us a Joke…
Sitting across a panel of interviewers, with sweaty palms and dressed in a pant-suit, you may not exactly be in the mood for a joke.
As you build up on your interview count, you’ll be surprised to realize how often this proposition is made.
It is a good idea to go prepared with a joke or a smart pun but make sure it is nothing inappropriate or offensive.
- What book are you reading currently?
Employers prefer to hire people who are not only well-versed with the trends of their respective trade but also have certain areas of interest and pursue them passionately.
The name of the book will say a lot about your literary tastes and lifestyle choices, so pick one carefully.
It is all right if you are not reading that book currently but don’t bluff it if you haven’t read it at all, for you may get called out on your lie.
- How long do you take to pack for a weekend getaway?
This is another one of those trick questions aimed at assessing your personality. What your interviewer wants to know is how organized and high or low maintenance you are.
No matter what your answer, have a logical explanation to justify your approach.
For instance, if you say that you pack at the last minute, you could justify your approach by saying that it is because your stuff is so well organized that you don’t need to pack ahead of time.
Or if you say you pack in advance, you could support your response by saying it is your way of ensuring you have everything you need for the weekend.