Have you ever been stumped by an interview question? We have all faced typical questions that employers like to ask, such as “Tell me about yourself.”, “What are your weaknesses?”, and “What do you know about our company?”. In these instances, we have done our research and prepared our answers, but recently a client asked me an interview question that made me stop in my tracks and really put on my thinking cap:
“If you could be a road sign, which one would you choose and why?”
Many of these strange questions may be asked in situations where an applicant is applying for a position that requires quite a bit of analytic thinking. These questions seem to be aimed at determining a candidates’ ability to think on the fly.
Palms sweating and heart beating, realizing that time is ticking, which one would I be and what skills can I use to describe my choice…
A one way sign!
This sign to me indicates moving in one direction especially when presented with a problem or a big project. My decisiveness and ability to think quickly helps motivate myself and my teammates to stay focused and on track when confronted with sudden adjustments and deadlines and not deviate from our main objective.
As you can see, I‘ve come up with an answer but also included an explanation that highlights some of my strongest abilities that I can bring to a workplace.
Here are some other questions that people have encountered during interviews:
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
It does not matter what animal you choose as long as you have a good reason for doing so. However it is probably better to pick a strong or intelligent animal, and then try to relate the animal to valuable job-related skills. For example an elephant is loyal and strong. A dolphin is intelligent and intuitive.
If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
Select a character who you actually know something about and who you admire. Explain why you admire the character and how this relates to your personal values and aspirations. For example, you might choose Sherlock Holmes because you admire his analytical and problem-solving skills, his intuition and intelligence.
If you were having a dinner party and could invite three famous people, who would they be?
The list of possible people is endless; again, just ensure you have a good reason for selecting whoever you do and how these people can affect a positive outcome in the workplace.
What would you title your autobiography?
The response to the question says a great deal about how you view yourself. Being able to describe your life in a single sentence is challenging. Try to think of something that reflects a positive and hopeful, ambitious and determined attitude to life.
Where would you go in a time machine?
Select a time that you know a little about so that you can support your answer with a few facts. Don’t forget about the future as an option.
Does anyone have an answer for why manholes are round? What is the strangest job interview question you’ve ever been asked?
We’d love to get your take in the comments section.
by Carole Marinier, Resident Blogger for Agilec
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