How international students can tackle off the wall interview questions


When it comes to practicing your interview technique, there are many steps you can take, but sometimes interview panels ask obscure questions that are hard to prepare for. Common examples include, “If you were an animal, what would you be?” Or “If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?” If the job you have applied for is competency based, then you should be able to think of some practice questions based on the job description. Some companies however, like to keep you on your toes and see how you react when put under pressure. They ask these off the wall questions to test you, but how should you react?

Don’t get put off!

These questions are designed to test your ability to think on your feet and see how you deal with uncomfortable situations. Firstly, smile, relax and take a moment to think of your answer. The interviewer will be observing your reaction, so show them that you can take it in your stride and handle the pressure. These questions can also be a way of finding out if you would suit the company culture.

Is there an ulterior motive?

What’s the meaning behind the question, if there is one? If they're asking you an unusual question, try not to be put off, use this as a chance to show a bit of your personality. Some of these questions may be designed to see how you analyse the question and what your thought process is. For others, asking a candidate what type of biscuit they would be is an opportunity to show you don’t take yourself too seriously- there is no “right” answer to this type of question so show the panel that you can adapt to different situations.
Take your time, and if you need a few extra seconds don’t be afraid to respond in the gap with something along the lines of “That’s a good question, you’ll have to give me a second.” The interview panel are only human so try to think outside the box and show them that you can deal with any issue.
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By Jen Garmston Published: May 15,2018