It has become increasingly popular for employers to ask unusual interview questions that are challenging to answer.
It is difficult for candidates to prepare answers for all possible interview questions, let alone a question like, “If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?”
So what do you do when an interviewer wants to know about your superpower would be? There are a few steps you can take to avoid being stumped.
1. Stay calm
If you are asked a question that stumps you, first take a deep breath. Maintain good posture, and look the interviewer in the eye. You want to appear calm and confident, even if you don’t feel that way.
2. Try to buy some time
Even if you are ready and willing for the interview you may not have the right response ready right at that moment. If you need to stall for a bit you can always try one of the following:
- “That’s a great question! Let me think about that.”
- “Wow. I’ve never been asked that before! You’ll have to give me a second.”
- “Huh, and I thought I’d be ready for anything. Let’s see…”
3. Always smile
When you’re stuck or stumbling, smiling helps a lot. A lot of the time these unusual questions are asked to see how you handle unexpected situations. If the interviewer asks a certain question that really seems to put you on the spot, keeping a smile on your face shows confidence.
4. Offer explanation
Most odd interview questions are intended to assess your critical thinking skills. Quite often, there is no ‘right’ answer. Explaining your reasoning out loud as you respond to the question will demonstrate your thought process, even if you struggle to arrive at the answer.
5. Answer enthusiastically
Even if you’re annoyed or frustrated by a question you haven’t practiced, you shouldn’t show it. The key to responding well is mostly about answering enthusiastically and coherently—not what the content of your answer is.
A great way to wrap up your response is to ask your interviewer how others answered the questions or even how the interviewer would answer this question, or what are the best responses he or she has ever heard.
Utilising these techniques is a sure fire way to answer any interview question, no matter how unusual.