Most people talk about facing awkward and unusual questions while interviewing for a particular position. Why do employers ask such questions that are not related to the job profile? As a common observation, interviewers generally ask challenging and unexpected questions to know beyond your already prepared answers and look for your reaction to figure out your personality and capabilities. Below are some of the most unusual questions you may face in a job interview and tips to ace them like a pro and grab the opportunity.
1. What did you have in your breakfast?
This question could be a real icebreaker. The interviewer may want to know about your cultural fit or lifestyle preferences or they simply want you to explain a recent experience. The best way to handle such question is to give a rich description instead of a boring one. No one wants to hear a word “cereal”. Let them know why you love a certain food or if you are foodie sort of person, describe each smoothie element and its dietetic benefit. Your answer must give some understanding of your personality.
2. How will you describe the color yellow to someone who can’t see?
Now this question will evaluate your vocabulary and potential to communicate in a gentle manner. Don’t ignore the significance of both these factors. To answer this question most effectively, use a description that involves the other four senses of a person including touch, smell, sound, and taste. Your answer should deliver your sensitive and creative side.
3. How would you hide a corpse?
We hope that you don’t have any experience with this situation, however, this question asks you more than that. Firstly, you need to think why your vikarbureau will ask this question and what they probably expected from you? You can start answering by assuring though you don’t have practical experience to hide a body, you can tell your experience by cleaning up the mess at the workplace and then further explain a particular example of your experience you have fixed.
4. Do you smoke?
You might face some personal questions regarding smoking, telling about your girlfriend or when you are planning to have a baby. Though these questions are inappropriate and unprofessional, you will find them pretty common in interviews. The best way is to refuse to answer with a polite tone as “I prefer no”.
Likewise, you will probably face a lot of related questions and below we have listed few tips to answer these questions efficiently without panicking.
1. Take Your Time
If you ever face a challenging question, acknowledge that the question was asked to you by simply saying, “That’s a nice question, I am thinking about it? It will give you some time to think about how to approach this question. You need to fill up the empty space with using words to prevent any awkward answer. Take few seconds to gather your thoughts and respond accordingly. Don’t abruptly answer the question that shows you as a confused person.
2. Think Aloud
Keep in mind that most of the time hiring managers ask you challenging questions not to hear you an immediate answer but to understand how you will think through the situation and handle it. Once you take few seconds to gather your thoughts, explain to them where your thoughts have been and how you look at a particular situation.
If you have been asked a question that you really can’t answer then the best thing you can do is to redirect to an area you are aware of. You might not be able to talk about particular skill but you can connect other related skills. For instance, if you have applied for a finance manager position and you are asked about this particular type of skill. If you don’t have any experience in this field then try to redirect your answer to something you are experienced in.
4. Repeat the question back
When you repeat the question out loud, you are giving yourself some extra seconds to think and answer it. Also, you can have an understanding of the question in a better way what exactly the employer is expecting from you.
The last thing you can do is to have a deep breath and compose yourself. Once you are relaxed, you will be able to see things more clearly.
Above everything, it’s important to learn from your interview experiences. Remember that regardless of what question you are asked, think about what employer is trying to learn from the question. It’s not necessary that you know the answer but if you are able to understand what the hiring manager is trying to learn with this question, you will do it well. Be sure what your words will deliver.
Ekaterina started her career as a journalist in 1996, worked for various national newspapers and magazines. Ekaterina writes about event industry and recruiting agency(vikarbureau) since 2007, she was one of the first authors at eventmarket.ru and event.ru, wrote for the organizing team of the first Global Event Forum in Saint-Petersburg.