Be Prepared: 9 Unusual Interview Questions They Might Ask in 2019


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Be Prepared: 9 Unusual Interview Questions They Might Ask in 2019

Preparing for an interview requires more than picking out a clean outfit and reviewing your resume. You need to be ready to think on your feet and communicate clearly.

Some interviewers will test you by asking unusual questions.

These questions give the interviewer a chance to see how you think on your feet. They could show your personality, resourcefulness, or knowledge of the industry. You may think you can’t prepare for these types of questions, but you can.

Keep reading to find out the top 9 most unusual interview questions you could be asked. Ensure you have an answer to each before the big day.

1. What’s Your Spirit Animal?

This question may seem irrelevant to the job you’re applying for. On the surface, it is. But, this question is strategic on the part of the interviewer.

It makes you describe yourself in a creative way.

Everyone says they’re nice, trustworthy, and punctual. Picking a spirit animal makes you think outside the box when describing yourself. It also shows the interviewer if you’d fit in with the other animals at work.

2. What Are 10 Things You Could Do with a Pencil?

This question might stop you in your tracks. Most people don’t prepare for interviews by thinking about the uses of pencils!

But, when you let yourself pause and think about it, you’ll find there are tons of uses for them.

You could use pencils as drumsticks, to remove ear wax from headphones, and to stake a veggie garden. There are dozens of ways you could use a pencil!

The interviewer wants to see how resourceful and creative you are. Can you see a pencil for more than just a writing tool or are you closed-minded?

3. What if Another Company Offers You Twice Our Pay?

It might seem unfair for an interviewer to ask you this question. Is there even a correct answer?

The reason for this question is the interviewer wants to see what you value. Is money the only reason you want this job? Will you leave for the next best offer?

The right way to answer is to say it depends on other factors and money. You care about having room to grow in the company, an awesome company culture, and feeling respected. Clarify that you won't jump ship just for money.

4. What Do You Do if You Find Our Your Boss is Having an Affair?

Yikes. Awkward.

Don’t worry, the interviewer isn’t sharing confidential information with you. They want to see how you define personal and professional boundaries.

If you respond with saying you would call out the boss and tell the whole office, that’s a bad sign. Show your understanding of boundaries by saying you wouldn’t pay attention to gossip.

5. How Would You Describe Yellow to a Blind Person?

This is a popular question used in team-building activities and interviews alike. It forces you to be creative and communicate clearly.

There are lots of ways to describe yellow without saying it.

Yellow feels like the hot sun on your skin at the beach. It’s sunflowers, bumblebees, and squinting because you forgot your sunglasses at home. 

6. How Do You Decide Which Email of 300 to Answer First?

Finally, a question related to the job!

Some positions require serious inbox management. This is a skill you might have from previous jobs or not. Either way, it’s a question you can prepare for before the interview.

You could say that you would sort new messages by sender. This allows you to isolate emails from priority clients to answer first. Or, perhaps you'd scan for keywords like "urgent" or "important". 

7. If You Could Have Dinner with Three People, Dead or Alive…?

Another question you’ve likely had to answer in other settings besides a job interview. Perhaps it was an icebreaker at a previous job or during a first date.

In an interview setting, you want to answer with people related to your industry. Sure, Oprah would be cool to dine with. But if the job isn’t in communications, media, or self-development, who cares?

Choose moguls in your industry that inspire you. If you’re breaking into a new industry, do some research on its history and major players.

8. How Do You Make Pancakes?

Instructional questions are becoming more popular in job interviews. It may seem irrelevant, but your answer informs the interviewer on your use of logic.

Can you clearly explain how to do something? Would you be able to lead your team by giving clear instructions?

They might ask you how to make pancakes, an omelette, or how to make a bed. All questions require a concise, comprehensive answer.

9. How Many Gas Stations Are in Texas?

No, the interviewer doesn’t want you to pull out your phone and Google it. But, they do want you to answer.

The best way to answer a question like this is to explain how you would find the answer. You could start by saying that you’d Google all the different gas station companies that operate in Texas. Then, perhaps you’d count all the listings on Google Maps or you’d pose the question on Quora.

The interviewer wants to see how resourceful you are and how you approach tough problems. Do you freeze and say you don’t know the answer? Or do you give it your best shot and answer logically?

Ready to Prepare for These Unusual Interview Questions?

Interviews are nerve-wracking for everyone. But, being prepared can ease your nerves and help you do well.

Preparing for unusual interview questions is a must when you land an interview. The interviewer wants to see how you work under pressure, on your feet, and out of the box.

Once you've had the interview, what's next? Check out these 10 tips for following up after the interview.