Awful Interview Questions Grads Face…

26 June, 2015

Awful Interview Questions Grads Face…

26 June, 2015
Recently we held a live webinar about the nasty little interview questions that crop up and catch you by surprise. We've jotted down the main points from the webinar for your use.

What is the purpose of them? Let’s get to the bottom of why interviewers use them…. Perhaps pretty obvious info but nonetheless:

  • They want to see how you respond to pressure
  • They want to see your thought process and how you think
  • They want to see if you can think on your feet

You will come up against all types of interviewers. People use different techniques to bring out the best in you. Be wary of:

  • Good cop/ bad cop situations
  • An interviewer being too friendly and nice. You could get too relaxed and reveal perhaps too much information
  • Aggressive interviewers. They’re there to try and make you crumble. Though if they really are nasty do you want to work there?

What to do to prepare for weird questions. For general interview advice… watch our webinar ‘How To Nail That Job Interview’ but here are our tips for the little shockers:

  • Plan beforehand. Do some research. Sites like glass door are great for getting the low down on an interview process so you can avoid any nasty surprises.
  • Think about the industry. If you’re going for a creative role… you will get questions to prove you are creatively minded.
  • And think. Plan your answer in full before speaking. A long pause isn’t as long as you think. This will also give you time to structure your answer.
  • Buy yourself more time by asking them to repeat it.
  • If you’re confused, ask them to elaborate a little more so you can understand.

My examples:

Here’s a list of the best ones I’ve heard. Have a go at answering them. It will give you a good frame of mind if you are ever asked something similar. First up are examples of questions you might get in the finance/ consultancy sectors. They are designed to see if you have a systematic approach to answering questions.

  1. How much can a London taxi driver expect to earn on a typical Friday night.
  2. How many golf balls fit in a Boeing 747?
  3. How many shoes do you think there are in the world?

With these questions, start by making assumptions and talk through your thought process so the interviewer can see how you arrived at the answer. They don’t care about the answer. They want to see how you get there.

The next set are tricky ones where the interviewer wants you to point out your weaknesses.

  1. What are your weaknesses?
  2. What do you need to improve on?
  3. What do you think is you worst quality?

Always bring it round to a positive light at the end and show how you are trying to change these attributes.

Here are some very strange scenario ones that I’ve heard and seen in my time. Here the employer is trying to guage your personality.

  1. If you were a cereal what would you be?
  2. What’s your favourite brand?
  3. What three items would you take on a desert island

And here are the strangest ones I’ve heard from colleagues and friends.

  1. Do you think animals have personalities?
  2. Do you believe in ghosts?
  3. What would you do if I gave you 1 million pounds tomorrow?
  4. Sell me this stapler
  5. Choose a nursery rhyme character and analyse how they could have brought positive change to their situation.

Good luck. I hope you don’t suffer through too bad a question.

We’d love to hear your worst ones so feel free to comment on the video on our YouTube channel.

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