3 types of oddball job interview questionsDocument Transcript
3 Types of Oddball Job Interview Questionsby Donna FuscaldoSUBMITTED BY TOM VILORD, PRESIDENT – VILORD WEALTH ADVISORS,TURNERSVILLE, NJINFO@VILORDWEALTH.COM, 877-VILORD1Ever asked a strange interview question?Ever go on an interview only to be asked who would play you in a movie or if you were ananimal, which one youd be? While these oddball job interview questions may have youscratching your head, theres actually a method to the madness."Interviewers are trying to get behind the facade and learn who the person really is," says PamelaSkillings, co-founder of New York-based job coaching firm Skillful Communications. "Can thisperson think on his or her feet?"There is no right answer to outlandish job interview questions, but career experts say you makemore of an impression if your answer is unique. "Everyone says I would be a lion because Im sofierce, but to be memorable, youve got to come up with something other people havent said,"Skillings says.That doesnt mean you should make something up. After all, you want the interviewer to see thereal you. "If youre not a good fit, you dont want to get the position," says Chuck Fried,president and chief executive of TxMQ Inc., a technology staffing company based in Buffalo,N.Y.With that in mind, heres a look at three categories oddball job interview questions fall into.Personality questions gauge creativityAsking what superhero powers you would want to possess seems strange, but that type ofinquiry, known as the personality question, is a regular occurrence on job interviews. "Just ascommon as what are your strengths and weaknesses is What do you think of garden gnomes?"says Samantha Zupan, a spokeswoman at Sausalito, Calif.-based career community Glassdoor.The personality questions achieve two things: They put you at ease and gauge your creativity,Zupan says. "They want to see the way you think," she says. "If you say something completelyoff the wall, that is the reason for it."
Take the garden gnome question, which Zupan says was asked of a person interviewing for a jobat Monrovia, Calif.-based grocery store operator Trader Joes. Its an example of the interviewertrying to determine if the person would fit in with a company that prides itself on its quirkiness.So how should you handle the personality question? According to Zupan, you want to answerhonestly, but give some thought to your answer. If you are looking to land a job on a childrenstelevision show, it may not be the ideal time to say youre an avid fan of slasher films.Logic questions probe problem solvingCommonly used at financial companies, consulting firms, technology businesses and engineeringpractices, the logic job interview question is designed to test just that -- your logic. Since manyof those types of companies are looking for people who are analytical, problem-solving questionscome in handy, Skillings says."They want to hear how you think and walk through a process," Skillings says. One example of alogic question is, "How many gas stations are in the U.S.?" Chances are you wont know theanswer, but the way you try to come up with the answer is more telling."Its more about the thinking process," Skillings says.Zupan at Glassdoor offers another example of a question asked of a person interviewing withfinancial giant Goldman Sachs -- if you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender,how would you get out?With that one, the interviewer was interested in seeing how the prospect would handle thequestion, Zupan says. For instance, a good follow-up question would be, "Is the blender on?""With tech companies and business consulting companies, theres a higher percentage of thosehow-to-solve-a-problem questions," she says.Are you resourceful?If youre asked on an interview how you would survive on a desert island for 30 days or whatyou would do if you inherited a pizzeria, chances are the potential employer is trying to gaugehow you handle being thrown a curveball."Is this person resourceful? Can you think of a plan B if plan A is not available?" Skillings says.Thats what employers are looking for when asking hypothetical questions, she says.Sometimes, these job interview questions will be more straightforward, related to the job forwhich you are interviewing. For instance, an interviewer may ask you how you would handle anincreased workload if a co-worker left or what you would do to appease an irate client.
"Employers want to hire bright, sharp people, and one attribute in regard to sharp people is theyare usually quick on their feet," says Fried of TxMQ. "They will ask some slippery questions tosee if its hard to knock them off balance."Handling oddball questionsThese wacky job interview questions are a small portion of the overall interview process, butthey do carry clout, especially in a tight job market. "The problem is, right now its socompetitive that it often comes down to the very small things in terms of deciding who is the bestcandidate," Skillings says.Career experts say the best way to handle these questions is to relax and pause before answering.You dont want to give the first answer that comes to mind, but one that is well thought out.Zupan at Glassdoor says its all right to ask for more information about the question. She says atactful approach is to say, "Thats a really interesting question. Can you tell me a little bit as towhy you are asking it?"Remember, the interview is a two-way street. Its as much to see if you want the job as it is to seeif youre the right fit for the company. "If you are getting put off by the oddball questions forwhatever reason, thats a good indicator" the job may not be for you, says Fried.SUBMITTED BY TOM VILORD, PRESIDENT – VILORD WEALTH ADVISORS,TURNERSVILLE, NJINFO@VILORDWEALTH.COM, 877-VILORD1IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND ANY OF OUR UPCOMING WORKSHOPS OR NETWORKING EVENTS, OR IFYOU WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO, PLEASE GIVE US A CALL AT856-227-2288, 877-VILORD1 OR SEND US AN EMAIL TO INFO@VILORDWEALTH.COM