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Career Advice

Tips for Unusual Interview Questions

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Tips for unusual interview questions

If you’ve got a job interview coming up, you’re more than likely spending some time doing some research and prepping for some of the questions that you are likely to be asked. Since generally speaking, interviews tend to follow the same format there are certain questions that it is pretty much a given that you will be asked. However, not all interviewers follow the typical scripted format. Some prefer to throw in an odd question or two – questions that you would perhaps never expect. Here are some tips on how to handle unusual interview questions that should hopefully help should you be faced with just such a situation.

Don’t rush things

If you are asked an off the wall question during an interview, don’t be tempted to hastily respond and rush your answer just for the sake of it. Instead you should take your time and think about what you have been asked for a moment or two. If you like, you could even tell the interviewer that you’d like to think about their question for a little before you answer. Or if you’d like to play for a little more time, you could always ask the interviewer to repeat the question. That way you can figure out how you are going to respond. A considered response is always the best option after all.

Assess the rationale

Admittedly in the heat of the moment, you might not have sufficient time to think of the logic behind you being asked an unusual question and in fact there may not even be a deep meaning behind an unusual question. It may simply be to see how you respond to something unpredictable or how you think on your feet. In essence, you should always be prepared for the unexpected and that way no matter what question is thrown at you, by answering calmly and reasonably, you will prove that you can handle things, even under pressure.

Get it clarified

If you are asked a question which completely perplexes or confuses you, it would be perfectly acceptable to ask the interviewer for a little clarification. It may be that you have misunderstood what they have asked or they may be able to explain it in another way. Either way, by asking them to clarify the question you are both giving yourself a little extra time to consider your response but also ensuring that the answer you give is both relevant and appropriate for what they have asked you.

Stay calm

Unusual interview questions are often asked simply to throw a spanner in the works and to give the interviewer a little more insight into you as a candidate. After all he standard textbook interview questions often generate the standard interview responses. Unusual questions on the other hand tend to reveal a lot more. No matter what is asked of you, you should remain calm, don’t allow yourself to get flustered and thereby reveal the type of traits that would prove to the interviewer that you are the type of candidate they should employ.  In the words of that well worn cliché, simply “Keep Calm and Carry On…”

We hope that these basic tips for unusual interview questions will help you if you’re faced with just such a situation in your next interview.




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