Surprise Interview Questions: How to answer them

- By Dr. Di

Most of you know to expect certain questions to be asked in job interviews, questions you can and should be prepared for—I’ve talked about those before. But, expect to be asked at least one surprise question, like the ones that big-tech are famous for, as reported by Judith Humphrey in the Chicago Tribune. Like “How would you solve problems if you were on Mars?” posed by Amazon. Or a strange set-up of an outlandish problem to solve that you could never anticipate.

Here are some rules-of-thumb that Humphrey recommends in responding to quirky questions: Expect at least one such question to be asked. Don’t panic; stay calm and answer seriously. Show who you really are; if you’re an analytical person, be analytical; if you’re funny and creative, be funny and creative. And, after answering, don’t ask how the interviewer liked your answer. The answer itself may not be as important as your reaction to being asked it!

The three primary reasons that the interviewer asks off-the-wall questions are to see 1) how you handle stress–don’t let them see you sweat; 2) how you react to an unexpected challenge–be you at your best; and 3) how creative you are–be at least as creative as the interviewer is being! And, when it comes right down to it, run with the question, and have fun answering it.