10 Tricky Interview Questions That Can Bewilder Even the Smartest Candidates
Many people feel confused at an interview because it’s not easy to get a prestigious job with a good salary. Especially taking into account the fact that employers can be really picky and use different tricks to figure out what type of person is sitting in front of them.
At Bright Side, we decided to share a few tricks and tips with you that will help you interpret the questions asked by an interviewer in the right way, and avoid any pitfalls along the way.
10. What’s your dream job?
Sometimes people answer this question without thinking, basing it on their favorite hobby or childhood dream but... You shouldn’t do this at an interview. When asking this question an interviewer wants to find out one thing — whether the position you’re seeking corresponds to your career goals.
Maybe a person wants to become a rock star or a professional football player. However, if the job they’re applying to doesn’t bring them closer to their dream, the interviewer will immediately realize that the person is seeking this position because they need money to support their family and themselves and that they won’t contribute to the company development at full capacity.
9. Have you ever stolen a pen from work?
Everyone has probably done it at least once. And since this is a fact, an interviewer is testing your honesty with this question. If you say that you’ve never taken a pen from work, the interviewer will conclude that you’re dishonest.
So, saying no is not the best decision, nor is boasting that you can easily put your hands on the company’s property. Answer simply and sincerely, “I think I took a pen from work accidentally a couple of times, like everyone else, but I usually bring it back to work because I don’t have a habit of storing pens at home.”
8. Why are manhole covers round?
This question will most likely seem strange to you. First of all, you need to understand that you’re not expected to give a correct answer. The interviewer just wants to check your reaction to strange and unusual questions. This way, it’s an imitation of a stressful situation. If you don’t get confused and begin to elaborate on the topic actively, you’ll pass this test successfully.
If this question confuses you, then it’s logical to assume that you’re not ready for unpredictable work situations. Of course, it’s possible that an interviewer might ask any other weird question, so you have to be mentally prepared for this. Remember: it’s better to come up with any idea as an answer than to say that you don’t know.
7. How do you define success?
This question is similar to the one about your dream. The understanding of success is very subjective, and interviewers ask about it for a reason. When a job seeker honestly says that success to them is earning a million dollars or winning a marathon, they’ll hardly get the position they want.
Potential employers are not interested in your individual achievements that are not relevant to the job you want to get. In your answer, you should focus on the things that will bring success not only to you but also to the employer. For example, you can say that success for you as a manager is a united team that breaks sales records every month.
6. How did you prepare for this interview?
“I didn’t prepare for the interview!” is a rather bold and self-assured answer that can cost you a job. An interviewer asks this question to understand how strong your desire is to get the position.
If you really want to work for a company, you’ll spend some time searching for information about the potential employer and study their website. So, you should talk about it. Also, you can impress the interviewer by demonstrating your knowledge of the industry in general, like commenting on the latest events and asking relevant questions.
5. How’s the weather?
You were asked a simple but tricky question! Many job seekers don’t realize that their answer to it also means a lot, thinking it was asked just to break the ice.
For example, if you start complaining about how bad the weather is and how difficult it was for you to find the office, you can forget about this job. At the same time, if you answer something like, “good” or “okay,” you could give an impression of someone who is not really open or sociable. It’s best to answer this question in full, in a relaxed and positive manner, as if you’re answering any other question about the job.
4. Have you ever considered being an entrepreneur?
If you plan to work for a company, don’t expect them to appreciate your entrepreneurial spirit. There is nothing wrong with the desire to run your own business, but an employer will hardly encourage this. Even if you apply for a management position, they are looking for a member of the team and not someone with the ambitions of a businessman.
After all, they will spend money and time on your training, and an employer doesn’t want to worry about whether you will quit after you get enough knowledge. Even if you want to join the company just to get some experience, you should not talk about it.
3. What would you do if you won the lottery?
One of the interviewer’s most important tasks at an interview is understanding a job seeker’s motivation. Like whether you’ll continue to work if you win money. If you wouldn’t, then you want to be hired not because it’s something you want to do in life but because of the money you will make.
Besides, an interviewer may ask you how you might spend lottery winnings. The answer to this question will show how mature you are as a person and how responsible you are about money. So, you don’t have to talk about the Maldives or a Lamborghini, even if you dream about owning them. It’s best to say something about investing or buying a house for your family.
2. How is this job different from others you’ve applied for?
This question is often asked at an interview in different companies. With it, the potential employer is trying to check your honesty. Job seekers rarely send their CVs to just one company.
If this is the case, it’s best to honestly say that you’ve sent your CV to a few companies, and then shortly describe how these positions are similar or different without saying anything negative about other companies. Don’t try to criticize them because it can ruin your reputation. Just focus on the advantages of the position you’re now being interviewed for.
1. Can you start today?
This is also a tricky question. Usually, an interviewer asks this to employed job seekers. Depending on your answer, they will understand how responsible you are at your job, and how loyal you are to your current company and your team.
If a job seeker is ready to start a new job even today, they will hardly prove to be a reliable person. Besides, there is a possibility that the job seeker is desperate about money. If so, the employer may use this fact and assign a lower salary to you than you could have gotten.
Tell us about the most unusual and memorable questions you were asked at an interview. And how you answered them.