Tackling Tough And – Frankly – Bizarre Interview Questions

Article by Jo Cresswell, careers expert at Glassdoor, the jobs and recruiting site

job interview, handshake, two women shaking hands, weaknessInterviews for anyone can be a daunting prospect, regardless of whether you’re interviewing for your first ever job or for a managerial or even board-level position. 

Beyond the traditional ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’ type questions, interviewers are thinking outside of the box and throwing in wild card questions to test people’s thought processes and ability to perform under pressure.

Preparation is key to any interview, anticipating difficult questions in advance will help ensure you don’t panic if you’re faced with them. Interviewers won’t deliberately try to trip you up or make you feel uncomfortable, they are usually just seeking to uncover how you deal with certain questions and understand your experience.

Glassdoor recently revealed a list of the most bizarre questions that have been asked in interviews and, here, I give you ideas on how to answer some of these wild cards!

If you won £10 million, what would you do with it?

This type of question is a great way to convey your passions and interests, both personal and philanthropic. If you’re a keen artist, perhaps you’d want to take a career break and travel the world painting landscape pictures. If you have a particular love of animals, maybe you’d donate a large sum of money to an animal charity or visit and volunteer at an animal sanctuary. Aim to get across parts of your personality and your lifestyle which may not otherwise come up in traditional interviews; areas which highlight great character traits that would make you a good fit for the role.

What you don’t want to say in response to this question is that you’d quit your job immediately and move to the other side of the world!

How do your friends describe you?

Try to avoid cliched, one word answers such as ‘helpful’, ‘trustworthy’, ‘reliable’. While these may all be true, you can guarantee that every other candidate will be saying the same thing. Instead, paint a picture of a few different scenarios which demonstrate how your friends see you. For example, the time you were able to support your friend with their business plan due to your strong knowledge of a certain business issue. Or when one of your friends was struggling with a personal problem, and turned to you as she sees you as honest and dependable. These short stories will make you far more memorable to a recruiter and allow your personality to shine.

Name a minimum of 15 qualities that define a great leadership

This is a lot to think of! Think back to managers you’ve had in the past and what you most admire about them. At the same time, consider your own values and which of these values you expect great leaders to share – and explain this in your response. For example, ‘Integrity is one of my most important personal values, I strive to be honest and true to myself in all that I do. Some of the best managers I’ve had in the past have shown great integrity.’ Don’t just list off 15 buzzwords, explain your thinking behind some of them at the same time.

Headshot - Jo Cresswell GlassdoorAbout the author

Jo Cresswell is a Corporate Communications Manager and careers expert at Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites. Prior to Glassdoor, she spent a number of years working in boutique PR agencies where she had responsibilities for recruitment, employee engagement and wellbeing.

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