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Weird Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Top Tips for Answering Weird Job Interview Questions
- Stay calm
- Laugh if it's funny
- Take time to think of your answer
- Never say "I don't know"
- Think about the qualities the interviewer is trying to discover
- Avoid political answers
- Try to keep your answers professional
- Avoid entering into a heated debate
- Remember there may not be a definitive right or wrong answer
Weird Job Interview Questions
So, either the interviewer has a specific reason for asking crazy questions or they have lost the plot. I will leave that up to you to decide.
There's a common misconception that when an interviewer asks this type of questions, he or she is trying to catch you out. That is simply not the case, after all, it would be counter-productive. Interviewers have the aim to find the best person for the job, so trying to trick them into giving wrong answers just wouldn't make sense.
Mostly, these questions are asked to find out about your personality, creativity, self-awareness or how you would solve problems. Personally I think they are a bit “Blind Date” ,but if they are good enough for Cilla Black, then they are good enough for me to write about!
When answering any of these questions, try to relax. It’s okay to smile or chuckle a bit, but don’t collapse with belly aching laughter or shriek in shock. Take time to think of your answer, although there may not be a definitive right or wrong.
Try not to worry when asked weird interview questions. There are some answers you can prepare in advance, so I have included some of the most popular ones in this article for you to mull over.
The interviewer may just be looking to see how you react under pressure, so take a deep breath and go for it!
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Making a Choice
Most of these questions assess how quickly you can make a decision and think on your feet. Many are to assess your true personality, so think in advance what you are really like and construct your answers accordingly.
- “If you were an animal, what would you be?”
This is predominantly to assess your personality. Think of it in the same way as “How would your friends describe you?” Try to choose an animal that is strong, loyal, confident or with other clear cut personalities that would be related to your perceived performance in the work place.
Dog, lion, tiger, elephant maybe, but fluffy bunny rabbits or slippery snakes are probably best avoided.
Whatever you choose, you should give a reason for your answer and link it to a quality that the interviewer is looking for, but make sure that your choice really does fit with your personality. There’s no point in saying you are strong as an Ox if you are more like a wallflower.
The interviewer tends to use these questions as a wild card to see how you can think on your feet and react to unique scenarios. This will in turn allow them to see whether you will be a good fit for the company, as well as how creative you are.
Similar questions include:
- “If you were a biscuit/ drink/ colour/ tree, what would you be?”
- “If you could have any super power what would you choose?”
- “If you could be any cartoon/ film/ TV character, who would you be and why?”
- “What’s your favourite colour and why?”
- “If you could be a cocktail, what would you be?”
Your Personality or Character
To find out a bit more about your personality and character, some questions that might be posed to you include:
- “What’s the last book you read?”
- “What is the last film you saw at the cinema?”
If you are asked these questions, make sure you can remember the story of the book or film. You'll look a bit of a wally if you haven't a clue. Think about positive aspects of the plot and what you particularly enjoyed about the characters. Did you learn anything that can be related to personal or professional development? If so, talk about this as the interviewer is sure to be impressed. Go steady though; if you watched a horror movie or wacky comedy, you might be hard pushed to answer with sincerity and professionalism!
- “If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?”
- "What would you have written on your gravestone?"
These questions are trying to ascertain how self-aware you are. They are similar to "Describe yourself in 3 words" or "How would your best friend describe you?" Really, they are a way to summarise "Tell me about yourself" and "Why should I hire you?", so consider your answer carefully and take it seriously.
Two of the most popular questions are:
- “Who do you most admire?”
- “Who would be your 3 ultimate dinner party guests; dead or alive?”
The most common answers are:
- Bill Gates
- Richard Branson
- Steve Jobs
- Mother Theresa
- The Pope
- Princess Diana
- The Queen
- Steven Fry
- Nelson Mandela
- Marilyn Monroe
- Parents/ relatives
- Anyone from Dragon's Den
While there's nothing wrong with these people (I'd love to meet or have met most of them!), if most of your competing candidates choose them, you won't get any points for originality. The interviewer may think that your answer is not really true to yourself and you are saying what you think you should say based on the popularity of others.
Now, of course, I can't tell you who to admire or invite to a dinner party, but take the time to think laterally and choose some people away from the norm.
Perhaps you could throw a cartoon character in there or even someone who isn't famous, but from your local community. It's up to you.
Steer away from anyone political or someone who may have a less than desirable reputation.
What's your opinion of weird interview questions?
Situational Interview Questions
Then there are situational questions, which are typically hypothetical questions (what you would do if how you would react in certain situations that you may not have encountered before) and are designed to assess your self-confidence and assertiveness.
- “You arrive at a party and you are the only one in fancy dress; what do you do?”
- “You are at a business lunch and your meal is under cooked. How do you react?
- "Your arrive at a meeting and don't know anyone there, who's the first person you talk to?"
So, how would you deal with these situations? Are shy? Do you always avoid potential confrontation? Would you eat an under cooked meal to avoid making a fuss?
Remember the interviewer is trying to gauge your self-confidence and assertiveness, so being flaky and not standing up for yourself will probably not go down well. Show through your answers that if you successfully secure the job, your manager won't have to hold your hand in tricky situations.
Your Creativity & Logic
Questions to establish whether you are creative, logical or lateral in your thinking are popular with global corporations, such as Google, but also with smaller design agencies, marketing firms and for roles that include these thought processes on a daily basis, such as teaching:
“Why are your legs longer than your arms?”
“Why are wheels round?”
“How would you describe a car to an alien?”
“What colour is your brain?”
The interviewer needs to hear whether you are creative or analytical in your approach to answers. Have fun with it!
Goal Setting, Ambition & Planning
Some interviewers may ask weird questions to assess how ambitious you are, what aspirations you have or how you set goals.
- “If you had only six months to live, how would you spend your time?”
- “If you won a £ million on the lottery, how would you spend the money?"
Keep in your mind the role you are interviewing for. You may want to sail round the world on a yacht if you win the lottery, but that's not going to convince the employer that your career with them will have longevity.
Tell Me About Your Experiences
Have you been asked weird interview questions? How did they make you feel? How did you react? Let me know, I'd love to hear your stories.
Similarly, if you are an employer or hiring manager. What are your killer questions? Do you have any stories you would like to share with us?