How to Knock Those Oddball Interview Questions Out Of the Park

By Rakesh Singh

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Attending an interview can be quite stressful. You could spend months trying to figure out what’s the right tone for you, the right clothes to wear, or the right facial expressions to have. However, at an interview all that planning can vanish if the interviewer simply chose to ask you something completely out of the blue.

 

Unusual questions are an interviewer’s blitzkrieg, and they can definitely catch you off guard. They may seem like random nonsense at times, like what colour crayon would you like to be? No matter how crazy they seem there is always a little hidden agenda. A lot of recruiters and HR managers, today, will resort to asking you strange questions. They believe that these questions will reveal something about candidate that cannot normally be determined with their resumes and small drills. They are looking for special traits they think will be perfect for the company. In the case of the crayon, choosing a shade of red could indicate wildness or passion. Blue could show creativity and some shyness. So what do you do if you are stuck in this situation? It is best to come prepared.

 

Prepare for what’s Around the Corner

Many companies, over the years, have built reputations for asking oddball questions. This especially true of tech companies. A recent survey done by CensusWide showed that over 56% of recruiters said that they would ask oddball questions to uncover the hidden skills of their candidates. Also, male interviewers are more likely to ask you these questions, than female interviewers. So, you can be sure to expect one oddball question at some point in your career.  It makes sense to read up on a number of general topics, and prepare yourself. Of course, you won’t know what the recruiter is going to ask you. If something completely different pops up, just go with the flow.

 

Don’t Let It Get To You

It is only natural to feel intimidated when you attend an interview, and these curveball questions can sometimes totally throw you. The key is to stay calm. Take a minute to breathe, and think about your answer; it won’t hurt your chances. Blurting out the first thing that pops into your head, however, may just end badly. What your employer is looking for is your ability to think on your feet, your creativity, and logical thinking.

 

Another great thing with unusual questions is that there is never a wrong answer. So if your recruiter asks you who would win a fight between Batman and Spiderman, don’t worry. Just tell him your opinion and make sure you can qualify it.. All that the employer wants to know is how your thought process works, and how well you can put your point across.

 

Go With Your Gut

When he throws you that curveball, what the recruiter is trying to do is to see is if you are compatible with the company. All you have to do is answer honestly and confidently. The topic of discussion is not as important as how you present your answer.  The employer wants to see if you have clear views on your likes and dislikes, and see how well you defend your views and beliefs.

 

The next time you’re at an interview and an odd question is fired at you, remember to keep all of this in mind. If you are stuck with a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t worry. It’s better to admit that you don’t know all the answers, rather than being overconfident, and ending up looking foolish. Be creative, stay confident, and you are sure to go a long way.

 

Author - Rakesh Singh

As Head of Marketing at Aditi Staffing - an IT staffing agency, Rakesh is responsible for organizational brand outlook. Rakesh, very strongly believes in the golden circle of why, how and what and supports Aditi Staffing’s success by connecting the brand with candidates, clients and the recruitment engineers in the same manner. With over 10 years of experience in various sales and marketing roles including an entrepreneurship attempt in the Digital Display Advertising world, he brings a comprehensive approach to Aditi Staffing’s brand management in the global recruitment market.

 

References:

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140804100911-64875646-the-most-unusual-interview-questions-and-how-to-answer-them
  2. http://careers.theguardian.com/careers-blog/conquer-curveballs-how-prepare-weird-interview-questions
  3. http://www.glassdoor.com/Oddball-Interview-Questions-LST_KQ0,27.htm
  4. http://employers.glassdoor.com/blog/why-hr-should-consider-asking-oddball-interview-questions/
  5. http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/business-news/management/how-to-deal-with-unusual-job-interview-questions/9865.article

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