Have you thought about what you would write on your gravestone or what ice-cream flavour you would be? According to a survey by online jobs platform OneShift, having the right answers to these questions could help you snare your dream job.
OneShift has compiled a list of the 20 most bizarre interview questions after receiving submissions from hundreds of job seekers. It found Australian employers are using tough and even whacky questions to find the right candidate.
Instead of asking predictable questions such as “What can you bring to the company?” some business owners are now asking questions such as “Are there wolves in Australia?” and “Name the seven dwarves from Disney’s Snow White”.
Gen George, the founder and chief executive of OneShift, says the purpose of these left-of-field questions is to see how job applicants respond in difficult situations.
“Many employers are using these oddball questions to suss out if the candidate is quick on their feet,” she says. “They’re looking to get a feel for analytical thinking skills, how you respond under pressure, and what your general view of the world is.”
George says in today’s market employers are looking for more than just a piece of paper.
Instead they want to be certain a job seeker is going to be a good fit for the business.
“You spend more time in your day with these people than your family,” she says. “You want to find out how they react to stressful situations and what they are really like. There’s no wrong answer, you are just trying to understand who they are and what they’re about.”
George said another factor in why employers are turning to these sorts of questions is they want to know if the applicant is going to go above and beyond for the business.
“You can have the best idea in the world but if you don’t have the right team around you, you don’t have a business,” she says.
When asked what advice she would give to job seekers who are faced with a difficult question, George says the trick is to be honest and take your time.
“Staying calm and attempting to explain the steps you’re taking to solve the question will impress the interviewer,” she says. “Ultimately, it’s your acceptance and willingness to tackle the unusual question that will be looked favourably upon by the employer – regardless of the answer you give.”
Margaret Harrison, managing director of Our HR Company, thinks left-of-field questions can be a great idea depending on the kind of people a business is looking to hire.
“Whacky questions can bring somebody who is going to be exciting and lift the company,” she says. “You just want to know someone is flexible enough or can think on their feet.”
The 20 most bizarre questions compiled by OneShift are:
- Bring an item with you to the interview that best suits your personality.
- Imagine a pen that could do anything. How would you sell it to me?
- On a day to day basis, what number do you think of the most?
- If you could have a day on earth where you could do one thing as much as you wanted what would it be?
- If you started dating another employee, would you inform the manager about your relationship
- What would you expect to see written on your gravestone?
- Name the seven dwarves from Disney’s Snow White.
- How would you move three chairs from one end of the room to the other?
- Here’s a pen between us. How would you get the pen over to me?
- Would you wear a sombrero at the airport so company guests can identify you during pick-up?
- Are there wolves in Australia?
- If you could be a type of animal, what would you be? Why?
- You have several hundred kilos of cardboard boxes. With a group of ten people under your command, how would you delegate the tasks to move the boxes from point A To B which are 1Km apart?
- If you were a car, which one would you be?
- If you inherited an island: What would you do with the island? Who would live with you on the island? What would be the top 3 rules of the island?
- What would you prefer to get out of working with people: a friendship, a productive working relationship, or a new partner?
- What fruit best describes you?
- What ice-cream flavour would you be?
- What TV personality best describes you?
- What’s your favourite colour and why?
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