It’s easy to prepare for “normal” interview questions like “tell us about a time when…” or “what are some of your strengths and weaknesses.” But every now and then, you might get a wacky question thrown your way and it’s important to prepare for those too.
When asking a weird question, a hiring manager is looking for how you react to the unexpected. Some questions are even disguised as small talk or a type of icebreaker but don’t let them trip you up. Your answers to the non-traditional questions are what leave the hiring managers with the lasting impressions.
Question: What would your theme song be?
What They Are Really Asking: The hiring manager is not really looking for potential employees with a wide knowledge in music, instead, they are asking if you are a good culture fit for their company. While being honest is important, if your answer is explicit, depressing, or anarchistic – you’ll raise red flags rather than be applauded for your truthfulness. Think twice before you answer this particular question and stick to more streamlined genres that convey positive messages. I promise you can still listen to whatever you want to on your earbuds.
Question: If you could be any kitchen utensil, would would it be?
What They Are Really Asking: How well are you able to present your case. Meaning not only are you expected to name a tool, but you should be able to explain the reasoning behind your decision. It is also asking you how well you can strategize and if you are a good team player. Think of an answer that’s recognizable, used regularly and plays a part in the “bigger picture” of meal prep.
Question: What fictional character do you most relate to and why?
What They Are Really Asking: While still a culture-fit question, they want to know more about your personality. They’re curious about your interests as well as your creativity. This also is an opportunity for you to pick your ideal self and use it as an opportunity to explain what you are striving for. If you have a lesser-known character in mind, make sure you give a brief explanation of the context as well as your relatable characteristics – it’ll demonstrate your communication and presentation skills.
Question: As a manager, how would you deal with a subordinate who had horrific body odor?
What They Are Really Asking: How do you go about solving problems and handle tricky and sensitive situations? Approach questions like this with maturity and do not indicate disgust or blame. Say something about your management style and how you aren’t afraid to find resolutions to both big and small problems. Comment on your ability to build positive relationships with colleagues that can lead to good rapport.
Question: How do you make a peanut butter sandwich?
What They Are Looking For: No, they aren’t looking for a recipe. Hiring managers are wanting to see your ability to explain processes step-by-step and how detail oriented you can be. Perhaps there will be training involved in the position or it’ll require you to explain things often to customers (read: you’ll have to answer silly questions) so they want to see you can describe the most simplest of tasks with ease and understanding.
Employers weed out bad candidates by simply throwing out unconventional questions. Instead of letting it rattle you, embrace the opportunity to not sound like a robot. Wacky questions can be a frequent occurrence and they aren’t going away anytime soon. Fielding these questions in the right way can make a big difference between striking out or becoming a top contender.