Would You Rather..? Unusual Interview Questions and How To Answer Them
So you’ve landed an interview? Congratulations! 🥳
Time to start rehearsing your work history and some anecdotes about that time you ‘took charge’, right?
But beware… somewhere in that interview might be lurking something you don’t expect.
While the typical interview questions can be nerve-wracking enough, some companies like to throw a curveball with unexpected and unusual questions.
The big tech giants are notorious for asking these questions, like this golden nugget from Google;
“If you could choose only one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
Yikes. You’d find me moving into an open-plan warehouse.
….Or, you know, New Shoes by Paolo Nutini.
These questions are a little different. Forget the anxiety sweats – this is all about having fun!
Here are ten of the most common “out of the box” interview questions, why they’re asked, and tips on how to approach them.
Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash
Some Unusual Interview Questions
“If you could be any superhero, whom would you be and why?”
- Why: This question allows the interviewer to get a sense of your values, personality and creativity.
- Tip: Choose a superhero that aligns with your values and explain why, while also highlighting relevant skills.
2. “How many basketballs would fit in this room?”
- Why: This is a classic example of a brainteaser, meant to test your problem-solving skills and out-of-the-box thinking.
- Tip: It’s okay to ask clarifying questions and work through the problem with the interviewer.
3. “What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done?”
- Why: This question gives insight into your sense of humour and ability to handle pressure.
- Tip: Keep your answer light and avoid anything too personal or embarrassing. Instead, share a humorous story that highlights your positive qualities.
4. “What’s your favourite word?”
- Why: This is a fun question that can showcase your personality, vocabulary and creativity.
- Tip: Choose a word that you find interesting or meaningful and explain why. Circumambulate… apotheosis…. phantasmagoric…
5. “Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?”
- Why: This type of hypothetical question is meant to gauge your decision-making skills. And perhaps your professional composure…
- Tip: Don’t take it too seriously and have fun with your answer, while also explaining your reasoning.
6. “What would you do if you were the only survivor in a plane crash?”
- Why: This question is meant to test your ability to remain calm and resourceful in a crisis.
- Tip: Focus on highlighting your problem-solving skills and ability to stay level-headed.
7. “What’s your spirit animal?”
- Why: This question is a creative way to learn more about your personality and values.
- Tip: Choose an animal that you feel represents you and explain why.
8. “If you could be any historical figure, who would you be and why?”
- Why: This question allows the interviewer to get a sense of your values, interests, and knowledge of history.
- Tip: Choose a figure that aligns with your values and explain why, while also highlighting relevant skills.
9. “If you could trade lives with anyone for a day, who would it be and why?”
- Why: This question gives insight into your interests, values, and aspirations
- Tip: Choose someone whose life you find interesting or inspiring and explain why.
10. “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?”
- Why: This is a playful question meant to test your sense of humour and ability to handle unexpected situations.
- Tip: Have fun with your answer and showcase your creativity and quick thinking.
Some of these questions are pretty fun.
They can contribute to a comfortable interview atmosphere and perhaps even make it fun (woah…slow down).
That is IF you expect that they could turn up.
If they catch you unawares it can be easy to get flustered!
Photo by fauxels
So, Why Do They Ask These Questions?
They’re an opportunity to showcase your creativity, quick thinking, and personality.
They’re designed to test the candidate’s problem-solving skills, creativity, and ability to think outside the box. They can also provide the interviewer with a glimpse into the candidate’s personality, values, and interests.
Some companies use these types of questions as a way to gauge how a candidate handles pressure and unexpected situations.
Others view them as a way to break the ice and create a more relaxed and enjoyable interview experience.
The list we’ve posted above is by no means exhaustive and interviewers are creating new ones all the time.
Unusual interview questions can take many forms, including
- hypothetical scenarios
- playful or abstract questions.
Photo by Edmond Dantès
What’s The Best Strategy For Nailing Unusual Interview Questions?
As with all interview questions the best first step is to stop.
And think it over.
Silence is incredibly powerful and showing you’re comfortable with it shows that you are too.
Secondly, remember there is no wrong answer.
The correct answer is a creative one. If you can show that you’ve digested the question and considered it from different angles, then you’re doing it right.
And last of all, don’t try and please the interviewer with what you think they want to hear. To the “ if you could be any superhero” question, don’t answer the Flash just because it would allow you to be super productive at work (cue heavy sigh and facepalm from interviewer).
Your personality has not come from your work, and it’s your personality that they want to see.
While these types of questions can be intimidating, it’s important to approach them with a positive attitude and a willingness to think outside the box.
The key to answering these questions successfully is to remain relaxed, have fun with your answer, and focus on demonstrating relevant skills and qualities while also highlighting your personality.
Remember to breathe and take time to think. Be relaxed and have fun with your answers while also demonstrating your relevant skills and qualities.
And if you’ve already had some experience with finding a penguin in your freezer, so much the better.
Good luck! You’re going to nail it.
Do you have an upcoming interview that you’re nervous about? Perhaps it’s for your dream job and you want to feel your best. At Forward, we coach people to be their very best. Do you want to make sure you put your best foot forward at that interview? Why not get in touch for a free consultation?