They key to a great job interview is being relaxed. Being anxious or stressed during your interview can often lead to fumbling through answers, particularly some that are a bit unusual. However, with a little preparation and practice you can remain calm and impress your interviewers.
Read on to find some tips on how to answer job interview questions and dealing with some of the more unusual questions you may get.
General tips on how to answer job interview questions
No matter the question you are asked there are several techniques you can use to buy you some valuable thinking time.
- Be prepared – having a clear idea on what you might be asked is a good start. Really think through the role description and find some practice interview questions directly related to the role you are applying for. Have someone help you role-play the interview too so when those tough question come for real, you will be ready.
- Take your time – Take a breath. Give yourself a moment to think. If you need a little more time, let the interview now with something like, “that’s an interesting problem, let me think about that.”. That can give you a little more thinking time to make sure you give the best answer you can.
- Ask questions – Always make sure to clarify what they are asking. As well as buying you some more time, it shows you are willing to ask for help when you need it. Making sure you understand exactly what they are asking means a better chance of giving an impressive answer.
- Come back to it later – If you are stumped by a question there is no shame in asking to hold off answering the question until the end. It will give you more time and further information you get during the interview might help you answer the question later.
Types of unusual questions and how you can answer them
Now lets look at some types of questions which may seem a little out there for an interview and how you should respond:
Q -“What do you do if you are approached by an employee who is complaining about a colleague who has horrible body odour?”
A - A question like this is designed to see what your conflict resolution style is and how you follow the chain of command. As most jobs involve a team of some sort these skills can be very important. Explain how you would politely bring up the situation with your supervisor and not engage in conversations with the colleague which could cause them embarrassment.
Q - “On a scale of 1 to 10, rate me as an interviewer.”
A – This kind of question is to see both how you can analyse things and the ability to deliver feedback. While being overly negative (despite how the interview is going) is not a good move, neither is being overly complimentary.
Q - “If you could take anyone on a road trip with you, who would you take and why?”
A – This is the type of question they may have in the interview to either loosen you up, get to know your personality, or both. Just be yourself and have some fun with your answer.
Q - “Name a brand that represents you as a person.”
A – A question like this is designed to give the interviewer some insight into what you value and how you think of yourself. It may be a good idea to think of a brand that shares values with the company you are interviewing for, or you can be creative, there aren’t generally wrong answers here.
Q - “If I was talking to your best friend, what is one thing they would say you need to work on?”
A – The point of this kind of question is to understand your ability to self-reflect and be critical. Again, they are looking at your analytical skills but also your ability to be honest. You could use a positive trait of yours for example, you may be very honest. When you have an issue with a colleague you prefer to talk about it and that may cause friction.
Remember that we all have positives and negatives, the goal of an interview is to understand how you interact with people and whether you fit within the company’s culture. Being honest with yourself and during the interview is always the best place to come from.
If you have more questions about how to answer job interview questions you can always reach out to your consultant for further guidance or you can find more information in our article on what to say and what not to say in an interview.