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How to Tackle the Most Unusual Interview Questions

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While job interviews can be daunting experiences, imagine how much more difficult they would be if employers posed a dazzling array of unusual and unpredictable questions? Well, imagine no more, as various high profile companies and technology-based firms have decided to introduce the element of surprise for candidates seeking employment with them. So now is the time to embrace the world of the strange interview question, and make thinking outside of the box outside of crucial part of your interview preparation.

What Unusual Questions Are Being Posed by Interviewers?

Various unusual interview questions have emerged over the last year. One premier example is asking an interviewee whether or not he thought that “Mahatma Gandhi would make a good software engineer.” Other examples include candidates being interviewed for Google roles asked direct questions about competitor Facebook, and technology-based companies asking their applicants “how they would attempt to cure world hunger.” Despite their seemingly light-hearted nature, these questions have been specifically designed to test aspects of your psyche and suitability as a candidate.

While anyone who has ever attended a job interview will have a preconceived notion of how they are conducted and the type of questions that can be expected, unusual questions have the advantage of making job seekers respond instinctively and think outside of their normal realm. Employers are increasingly aware that the business and technological worlds are subject to constant change, with the result that staff must be able to react to any given work place or external situation and respond appropriately. These unusual questions provide an insight into whether candidates are capable of this or not.

How to Respond to Unusual Interview Questions

While you cannot prepare for unusual questions that are conceived in the mind of an industry expert, you can at least understand the nature of strange interview questioning and the best possible methods for dealing with it. With the above examples in mind, consider the following as key to your success:

  • Begin by assessing the industry that you are applying to work in, and what skills companies are likely to seek from their employees. Taking the technology sector as an example, it is well known that problem solving is a much sought after skill amongst candidates, and so any unusual question will be posed to challenge your thought processes and how you tackle, assess and plan to resolve even the most ridiculous of problems.
  • Thinking is the key to successfully answering these types of unusual questions, and more specifically, whether you think in narrow or broad terms. While the former restricts you to address each question or challenge in its most rigid sense, it is the latter that encourages you to think beyond the wording of the question and understand exactly what the employer is seeking from you.
  • By adopting a broad view of the challenge in hand, you are in a position to consider the general process of problem-solving while even posing questions of your own to help showcase your level of understanding. Employers are looking for someone who can remain calm and think largely on their feet while possessing the awareness to address interviewers and make their task easier.

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