Handling Weird Job Interview Questions with Great Communication Skills

December 29, 2011

If you are searching for a job for 2012, then it’s inevitable you will encounter some off-the-wall interview questions this time around. It’s become quite the fashion for hiring managers to throw in some unusual interview questions, to weed out unsuspecting candidates from prime assignments. While these can throw any already nervous candidate for a loop, half the battle is learning what to expect and how to handle these crazy questions through effective communication skills.

A recent Glassdoor.com report gave some recent examples of oddball interview questions, some of which included, “If you could be #1 employee but have all your coworkers dislike you or you could be #15 employee and have all your coworkers like you, which would you choose?” (Asked by ADP) and “How would you cure world hunger?” (Asked at Amazon). If you found yourself on the other side of the interviewing table, you may be scratching your head at this point.

While the above questions fall somewhat in the range of things that you may hear at an upcoming interview, the main purpose of these questions is to get the candidate thinking on his or her toes. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to come up with rational answers, so don’t worry that you have the “right” answer. Just make sure that it makes some sense, and try to relate back to the company values or mission in your answer if possible.

A Forbes article advises, “don’t fret about trying to come up with the most brilliant answer on the spot. Instead, use the opportunity to demonstrate your thought process, to communicate your values and character, and to show the prospective employer how you perform under pressure.” It’s true that you need to keep your cool as you interview, no matter what is thrown at you. Having the ability to work well under pressure, make rational decisions based on facts, and lead others is the hallmark of the best candidates. And these are who the hiring managers are targeting like laser beams by using weird interview questions.

So, now we come down to the nitty gritty. How do you handle the odd and unusual job interview question you may get, in the middle of an already tense interview? Simple. Stop for a moment and really absorb the question and the real meaning behind it. Come up with a creative answer that makes logical sense, has something to do with the corporate culture and may even make the interviewer laugh a little. Use your expert communication skills to convey the actual meaning behind your words, through non-verbal communication and plenty of eye contact. By preparing in advance, you will have the ability to wow the interviewer and make a great impression – which may just land you the job!

Learn more about handling tough communication experiences by attending an upcoming Dale Carnegie course, either online or in person today.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Mid & Northern Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net




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