Weird Job Interview Questions and Answers
1. If you were an animal, which one would you want to be?
This is a psychological question hiring managers sometimes use to get a better idea of your personality and to also see how well you can think on your feet. Although this seems like a harmless or silly question, the animal you choose could form a positive or negative impression of you. Try to have an idea of the personality and characteristics that fit well with the position you are applying for, and use that to choose the appropriate animal. Think about the impression you want to make to the hiring managers. As always, the best answers are backed up by an explanation for why you chose the animal.
Example: “A tiger” will make you appear as if you are aggressive, whereas “a rabbit” will make you appear passive and possibly even cowardly.
“If I were an animal, I would be a wolf. Wolves use teamwork for their very survival and I believe in this position that working effectively as a team is one of the most important ingredients for success.”
2. What was the last book you read?
This question won’t be asked in every job interview; however it may surprise you if you get asked this question. Typically those who read regularly show they are interested in continuing to learn about different subjects, are intelligent and good communicators. Hiring managers like to know you read regularly, but some use this question to see if you actually read up on issues related to the field. Part of being great on the job is having wider knowledge of the industry, trends and latest developments in the field. Use this question to score you points with the hiring manager to show you keep up with latest news in the industry even on your own personal time.
- Don’t name a book you’ve read in the romance or teenage sci-fi section that may not portray you as an educated and competent employee.
- Try to name a book that has some relevance to the field you are applying for.
- Don’t lie and say you’ve read a book that you haven’t. You never know if the interviewer has read the book and ask you about details.
Example: “The last book I read was Fracking: America’s Alternative Energy Revolution. The author has a lot of great insight into the practice and shows the positive aspects of the practice.”
3. If you were a tree, which kind of tree would you be?
These types of “what kind of object would you be” questions are a little odd to answer and may seem completely irrelevant in the job interview. These types of questions do have some kind of purpose for hiring managers, though. They can gain some insight into your personality by asking the question and can also see if you will be thrown off by the question or answer in an irrelevant way. Think about a type of tree that has the qualities similar to the ones you need to perform the job well, and choose that tree. Don’t choose a tree simply because it’s pretty or because you like it. For example, I love jacaranda trees because I think they’re beautiful, however if I say I would be a jacaranda tree, it really has no significance to the role I’d be applying for and therefore wouldn’t do anything for my interview.
- Think about simple qualities you can attribute to certain types of trees, such as productivity, reliability, flexibility, strength, life span, etc.
- Oak trees can be considered strong and steady; palm trees can be seen as flexible and productive; fruit trees are productive; whereas other trees may seem weak and frail or leave a mess with leaves or droppings.
- Don’t say you’d be a certain tree just because it’s pretty or you like it. Connect the tree with some quality that could be useful for the job you want to get.
Example: “If I were a tree, I’d like to be an apple tree because they’re very productive and can feed a lot of people. My goal is to be the most useful employee I could be for the company, and apple trees are very useful.”
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