Job interviews are nerve-wracking.What’s the weirdest interview question you’ve ever been asked?
They’re especially nerve-wracking when people are asking you questions from-out-of-left-field that you were in no way expecting!
Although I understand the strategy behind and know that seemingly random questions can reveal a lot about a person, that knowledge doesn’t help when it happens to you first hand!
So, what’s the weirdest interview question you’ve ever been asked?
For me, it was “If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?”. I don’t even remember how I answered it because I was so taken aback.
So, since prepping for an interview is such an important part of landing any job, we thought we would share with you the strangest and also most common interview questions that are floating around out there and hopefully, help you nail them!
The Strangest Interview Questions
What would you do if you went to a job interview for a sales position and were asked something like:
“How much would you charge to wash every window in Seattle?”
Not something you were expecting to hear was it? Well, that was exactly what was asked to candidates applying for Facebook’s Online Sales-Operations position a few years ago. Want to hear a few more? Let’s see what other crazy things were thought up by HR departments around the country.
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The Hardest Interview Questions
Well, I can tell you right now I couldn’t answer any of these questions on-the-spot (except maybe the horse-size duck one because everything that is horse-size is scary). But there are a few questions that are common placed and have been and will continue to be asked in almost every job interview.
First up is the dreaded, “What is your biggest weakness?”.
According to The Interview Guys, this is a question that interviewers ask to see how you will respond as opposed to what you will say. It is intentionally meant to throw you off your game and get you thinking.
Many people have well-rehearsed scripts ready in their head when they go for an interview. This is good – to a point – but hiring managers want to see the real you, not what you’ve memorized!
Fight the urge to say things like, “My biggest weakness is working too hard” or “I don’t have any, I’m strong all around”. Nothing makes a hiring manager roll their eyes faster. Instead, think of something that was or is a weakness for you that you can turn into a strength. For example, maybe you are shy, but you’re taking steps to get over your shyness like joining a softball league or taking an improv class. This shows that A) you are human and have weaknesses and B) you’re willing to work on them, both things a hiring manager will appreciate!
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Up next is, “Why should we hire you?”
This one makes me cringe just thinking about it and I’ve asked it (and been asked it) many times! There are many ways to go about answering this one in a positive way but let’s go over the ways you should avoid first.
Don’t be cocky. “Because I’m awesome” is not an acceptable answer.
Don’t be whiny. “Because I love everything about this company and really, really want the job” is also not.
What the hiring manager is looking for in this situation is not flattery, they want to know if you’ve done your research. Make sure you mention any skills you have that were started in the ad or previous experience that will make you a shoe-in for the position. Give examples that are unique to you and offer how you could improve things for the company.
Overall be concise, confident and knowledgeable.
And last but not least, the all-too-common, “Why did you leave your previous job?”
This one certainly isn’t as straight forward as the last two and will ultimately depend on your previous experience, but there are a few good guidelines to follow to nail it no matter what.
Again let’s start with the “don’ts”:
“I hated my boss” is an automatic red flag. Don’t say it!
“I’d like to try a career change” is too vague, be specific.
And NEVER lie about being fired, they will find out.
The best way to answer this question, no matter what your reason, is with honesty. If you left on your own accord, explain why, what you learned from the experience and what will be better about this potential job. It’s also good to mention if you were laid off due to budget cuts, downsizing or a bad economy.
So there you have it! The good, the bad and the ugly of interview questions. Now it’s time for you to tell us, what’s the strangest or hardest interview question you’ve ever been asked? Let us know!
I found inspiration for this post after reading Entrepreneur’s Strangest Job Interview Questions You’ll Ever Hear.