Recruiters and hiring managers are always trying to cope with massive numbers of executive candidates applying for positions.
The old standby interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses,” will not provide the type of information needed to weed out the ordinary from the extraordinary executive.
The Purpose of These Rather Odd Interview Questions:
Employers are trying to test your creativity, critical thinking, and ability to handle pressure, as well as if you are a good cultural fit for the organization. So, over the years, more behavioral interview questions have been embedded into the process. Today, creative companies such as Amazon to the more conservative ones such as banks are incorporating more uncommon questions into their interview process.
Don’t be mistaken that executives are immune from this type of interview questioning. If you are leading the masses, the organization needs to know how their executives will relate to the staff and employees they will manage.
How Would You Answer These 3 Unconventional Interview Questions:
Q–What do you think about when you are alone in your car on the way to work?
Take a minute to reflect on your best answer. The response should demonstrate to your potential employer that once you start your journey to work, your mindset is envisioning your workday so when you arrive, you are ready to get started.
Q–What song best describes your work ethic?
Try to overcome the first answer that may come to mind (“Take This Job and Shove It”). This question was asked by a hiring manager for Dell and generated various responses from “She Works Hard for the Money” to “Under Pressure by Queen.”
What song would best represent your work ethic?
Q–A penguin walks in the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
No matter how silly a question may appear, never miss an opportunity to sell yourself.
Thinking quickly here is imperative.
Here’s Something Else You Can Do When You’re Stuck Answering An Interview Question…
Put a little humor into your response. What you say can be dissected into many aspects of what the company is looking for in an executive; for example: good at thinking on your feet, social fit, and creativity.
If these types of unconventional interview questions throw you off, never, never jump out with “I don’t know.”
This stops the conversation dead in its tracks.
Even if you have to stall a minute; take a breath, take a drink of water.
Hopefully, your subconscious takes over to scan your brain for something witty.
In the meantime, interviewers know they’ve presented a question that you may not have expected, so in most cases, they are willing to give you a chance to get an answer together.
Sample List of Unconventional Interview Questions
Check out a few of the following questions (partial list from Glassdoor with companies that used them):
— If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why? (Forrester Research)
— How many cows in Canada? (Google)
— How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building? (JetBlue)
— If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us? (Trader Joe’s)
— How would people communicate in a perfect world? (Novell)
— What kitchen utensil would you be? (Bandwidth.com)
— If you could be anyone else, who would it be? (Salesforce.com)
Keep in mind that at the conclusion of the interview, you want the interviewer to walk away thinking you are the best executive for the position—that you are a fit.