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JOB INTERVIEW TIPS-unusual questions

Posted 16th March 2020 • Written by People First •

Job Interview Tips

How to answer unusual interview questions.


So, you've answered all your interviewer's questions so far; told them about your strengths and weaknesses, explained why you left your last job, discussed why you're the best person for the job, all your preparation has worked beautifully, you're ready for the next question, which is:


If you were an animal, what animal would you be?


How many golf balls are there in the UK?


Tell me a joke.


What do you say?


Here goes...

They're asking you these kind of questions either because they want to see how you handle the unexpected or because they want a creative and imaginative thinker (probably to fit into a creative and imaginative team/company). Either way, they don't expect you to have an answer, but they do want to see that you don't panic or that you can come up with a response that fits their company culture.


The way you answer might depend on who's asking, if a bank asks you how many golf balls there are in the UK they know you don't know the answer but they do want you to show how you might use your analytical mind to solve the problem. However, if you're asked a quirky question by an advertising agency then you can let your imagination go wild.


The first thing to do is stay calm and relaxed and smile at their unusual and original question. Show them you're not fazed by it and that you're ready to surprise them with a clever response.

But even though you stay cool, you still need to think of an answer (or a joke), so it's not a problem for you to take your time and respond first with a comment that gives you some thinking time, like:

"Ha ha, how do I answer that!?"

"Hmmm, good question, let's see..."


Because these questions are peculiar ones, funny, even weird, you don't have to answer in the same way you do all the typical interview questions. They have no 'correct' answer, so don't panic that you can't work out the exact answer or give them a highly original, thought-provoking and hilarious answer; the most important thing to do is show you're not scared, show you're enthusiastic and willing to play along. Then they know you'll be a good person to work with.


Then, once you've answered, because it's an unusual question, you can move on in an unusual way. If they ask you "What's your biggest weakness?" you wouldn't answer and then say "What's yours?", but if they ask you what animal you'd like to be you can definitely give your answer and then say "How about you?" or ask them how other people have answered, ask what's the most surprising answer they've had, or the best joke they've been told. Then you're interacting with them like normal human beings do, not like interviewer and interviewee!


So, if you were an animal, what would you be?

Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK