Crazy Interview Questions

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There are several crazy interview questions that plenty of job seekers worry about. 

Over the years, plenty of my clients have asked how to answer interview questions like:

  • If you were an animal what kind of animal would you be? Why?
  • If you were a t-shirt, what color would you be? Why?
  • If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be? Why?

Everyone who is facing a job search seems to worry about these questions, probably because the questions sound bizarre, it's difficult to think of a reasonable answer to the questions, and it's not really apparent why the interviewer would even ask such questions.

Before we get into the details about answering these crazy interview questions, first I'd like to point out that you really don't need to worry too much about them. These difficult interview questions are extremely uncommon; very few interviewers actually ask this type of question.

I've worked with about 2000 job seekers, and clients often asked for tips on answering difficult interview questions like this. Whenever someone in one of my job search workshops wanted to know how to answer this type of question, I'd always ask if anyone in the room had ever actually been asked that type of question in a job interview. Very few people (less than one percent of the people I asked) ever said that they had actually been asked this type of question in a job interview.

That being said, these crazy interview questions do exist, and job seekers worry about how to answer them, so here are some tips on answering difficult interview questions like this.

Why do employers ask these crazy interview questions?

They may want to see how you handle stress or an ambiguous situation. They'll ask a bizarre question to cause a bit of stress in the interview so they can see how well you think on your feet.

Employers may want to shake up the interview a bit. If they feel that your answers to previous interview questions were too cliché and insincere, and they feel as though they are not really getting to know you, they may ask an unusual interview question to throw you off a bit.

They may not even care much about your answer to the crazy question. They're just hoping that by shaking things up a bit with an odd question, your answers to the next questions will be more sincere and less formulaic.

Employers are not asking these questions to delve into the deep corners of your psychology. Contrary to popular belief, questions like, what kind of fruit would you be are not part of some tricky psychological test that reveal something deep and meaningful about your psychology.

Tips for answering unusual interview questions:

  • Give an answer that shows something positive about you as an individual.
  • It's fine to ask for a moment if you need time to think of your answer.
  • Try to avoid clichés like, "I'd be a grape (or a banana) because they work in bunches or on their own." Think of a sincere answer.
  • Try approaching the question from a different direction. First think of a quality that is valued on the job, then think of a color or animal or fruit (or whatever other unusual item you've been asked about) that fits with that characteristic.

Realistically, you probably won't face one of these crazy interview questions. If you do, know that the interviewer is simply trying to create a bit of stress or shake things up. Give yourself the time you need to formulate an answer, and remember to match your answer with a characteristic that is valued in the job you are seeking. 

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