Let's face it, preparing for a job interview is scary, even for professionals who have met all the qualifications and experience for the job. No matter how much you prepare, you never know which unique interview questions to expect when called to an interview. How can you be ready for this?
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As you walk towards the office of the recruiter or hiring manager, you already have expectations about the interview questions. Of course, you will be able to answer generic questions, like "How did you come to learn about our company?" "Where are you from?" "How is the weather there?" "What are your skills?" "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" But what if the recruiter decides to throw you off by asking unique interview questions? Will you be capable of answering them effectively?
The use of unique and weird questions in interviews is not a new strategy. Successful companies like Tesla and Amazon use them to select their job applicants. The beauty about preparing for these weird questions is that you will:
Be able to analyze and know what the hiring manager is looking for from the question
Get to make a good impression on the recruiter within a limited time
Be confident in yourself and your answers
Display your personality, culture, and wit
Enjoy the interview.
For example, if the recruiter asks you, "If you were able to have one superpower, which one would you prefer between flying and invisibility?" Take a deep breath, think, and use your imagination. What is the recruiter looking to get from your answer? So, before you answer this question, check out an analysis of these eight unique interview questions that you should look out for:
1. Which animal would you compare yourself with? Or what is your spirit animal?
Your answer to this unique interview question will bring out your creativity and ability to think on your feet. It will also help the hiring manager know your strengths and weaknesses based on the animal you choose. The follow-up question to this is, "Why?" So, make sure you have a reason for your answer. For example, if your spirit animal is the wolf. You can say that you identify with the wolf because of its loyalty and ability to support teamwork with its wolfpack. These are good character traits for any workplace.
2. If you had a choice, which one of our products would you like to be?
You are likely to get this question when you are interviewing in a company that deals in manufacturing and products. The answer that you give here will show your knowledge of the products and personal values. If the recruiter asks you this unique interview question, they are trying to find out:
- Have you used any of their products? And if so, which ones?
- Which products do you know?
- What do you like about their products?
3. What five adjectives would your past co-workers/friends use to describe you and why?
The adjectives you choose will reveal what you think about yourself in terms of strengths and weaknesses. The recruiter will use this to gauge if you can fit into the company's culture and the personalities of the other employees in the Company. If you need a clue on how you can best describe yourself, choose adjectives that cover the following categories: negative, positive, professional, emotional, and physical.
4. Can you pitch these products and services to me as if I were a potential buyer or investor?
If you want to highlight your skills and strengths over your academic qualifications or experience, now is the time to shine. You need to bring your A-game and show the recruiter why you are the best pick out of all the job applicants. Don't hold back. Show the recruiter your knowledge of the product or service and just how creative and enthusiastic you will be when you get the job.
5. Which work environment will ideally help you contribute more effectively?
Fitting in makes the work environment easier and efficient. If you get the job but don't fit into the company culture and work environment, you won't work efficiently. Recruiters need to know if you will be the right fit when placed in their work environment. The answer you give to this question can disqualify you from the race even if you have the qualifications and experience. Therefore, take enough time to think before you answer this unique interview question.
6. If I gave you a giraffe right now, what would you do with it?
You know how uneasy and anxious you get before and during an interview. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but recruiters can tell that you are nervous and unsettled. It is as uncomfortable for them as it is for you. So, this unique interview question is used to break the ice and help you loosen up before the tough questions come flowing. It also helps them know how creative and capable you are of handling unexpected situations. You are most likely to get this weird question initially or at the end of the interview.
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7. What project is your most-valued career achievement?
Has a recruiter ever given you the chance to highlight your accomplishments, whether big or small? Take this time to impress and convince the recruiter. Your answer to this unique interview question will show how valuable you will be to the Company. Don't hold back when answering. Speak with confidence as you highlight your accomplishments. Even if you have one achievement, let the recruiter know why you value it.
8. How would your previous employer rate the quality of your work?
How do you relate with your employers? Can you follow the instructions? Or do you always have to show off and be right? This unique interview question highlights how you respond to feedback, criticism, and leadership. Even if you had a bad fallout with your previous employer, find a way of not turning it into a red flag to your next employer. Also, honesty is important when answering this question.
4 tips for answering unique interview questions
Structure – Before you answer a unique interview question, take some time to think and evaluate what the recruiter wants. Structured answers make you feel more confident in communicating with the recruiter, making the recruiter feel more confident in your skills and expertise.
Professionalism – This is not the time to be cocky and crack jokes. The recruiter is not your friend. It would help if you made a good impression, so silly answers that are inappropriate will disqualify you. Also, ensure that you aren't biased towards age, ethnicity, sex, health, physical attributes, or race.
Purpose – When you answer these unique interview questions, ensure that you have a reason for each answer. Always expect the follow-up question to be "Why?" or "Please explain" The reason you give should relate to the job position. It should highlight your interests, abilities, interests, cultures, thought processes, and capabilities.
Honesty – This is not the time to lie or exaggerate. During an interview, focus on bringing out your interests, abilities, cultures, thought processes, and capabilities. Manage your weaknesses and mistakes by not highlighting them during the interview or preparing a generalized explanation.
So, let's get back to my initial question, "If you were able to have one superpower, which one would you prefer between flying and invisibility?"
Forbes surveyed 7065 leaders worldwide and found out that 72% of the leaders chose to fly over invisibility, which had 28%. The answer to this question will show your character trait and help the Company know if your character and culture fit into the role and Company dynamics.
Let me help you understand this –
When you fly, you are at center stage. The world is yours to take. You are in the limelight, everyone is noticing you, and you like to feel powerful. You enjoy receiving praise and are open to constructive criticism and feedback. Furthermore, you are likely to take charge and steer everyone in the right direction and focus. Therefore, you would do better in a leadership role.
When you are invisible, you do not want to be seen. You like blending into the background and analyzing your surroundings. Since you are always paying attention to everyone else around you, you can easily spot when a colleague is not doing the right thing and are more inclined to help them. You get anxious or nervous when you get feedback or constructive criticism. Therefore, you would do better in a group setting.
The pressure of being interviewed is enough, and no one needs to add unpreparedness to the mix. Apply the strategies above to help you build your confidence and prepare for your interview. Answer the unique interview questions honestly and as accurately as you can. Most importantly, don't forget to smile!