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Jobs & Careers magazine | November 14, 2017

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Preparing for an oddball interview question

Preparing for an oddball interview question
CV-Library’s Top Tips

Oddball questions are becoming more and more popular during interviews in order to see how candidates react and whether they can think on their feet. These questions may seem unrelated to the job role to which you are applying but show a lot about your personality and can be used by employers to differentiate between candidates. Within this article we are going to take a look at some weird and wonderful curveball questions, some genuine answers, as well as some tips and tricks on how best to answer them.

For a moment imagine you are in a sales interview and all is going well. You have been asked the usual questions such as why you want the job and what you can bring to the company and then suddenly the interviewer throws in a wild-card question for example; “If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be, and why?” What do you say?

The key is not to get flustered but to keep calm. Take a few deep breaths, remain cool and composed and take a bit of time to think about your answer. Try to think about how you can demonstrate any skills you have, your creativity or how you can relate your answer to the role. Remember to take comfort in the fact that there is rarely a wrong answer. After all, the aim of these questions is to see how you respond to stress and can reveal a great deal about your ability and personality.

“Sell me this pen…”

“Take a look at this BRAND NEW pen! It’s not just any old pen; it’s the latest model, sleek black design with solid silver detail. It writes beautifully, don’t believe me? Give it a try! Not fully satisfied? Not a problem, you will get a full refund if you’re not happy with this product.”

This is a very popular question in sales interviews and the answer should reflect your sales skills. A good answer should describe its features and how it will benefit the user and if you can, use your creativity to put a sales spin on it!

“If you won £20 million in the lottery, what would you do with the money?”

“I would probably stay in the position I’m in. I would use the money to support friends and family and improve my education. Then put the rest in to savings to keep a stable lifestyle for myself and future family. Maybe get a business up and running. Oh and holidays!”

This question is designed to discover more about your character, to determine whether you’re generous, wise, thoughtful, or just want to go on a spending spree. In a sales role, this could be an excellent way to demonstrate how you will be motivated by commission. Be honest, but remember to spin your answer in a positive way to ensure you don’t appear careless!

“If you were a colour, what colour would you be and why?”

“Red, because it stands out, it’s vibrant and it’s fiery just like me!”
“Metallic blue. It’s stylish and elegant with bravado.”
“Orange! It’s bright, cheerful and fresh.”

Think about your skills and how they are relevant to the job role. In a sales interview, try and pick a colour such as red or blue which are strong primary schools then use positive words to describe how this colour sums up your personality such as passionate, energetic, creative, strong or persuasive.

Some more real-life oddball interview questions have been provided below:

“If you could be a superhero, what would you want your super powers to be?”
“If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?”
“How do I rate as an interviewer?”
“In a news story about your life, what would the headline say?”
“How would you cure world hunger?”

Image: Shutterstock

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