3 Oddball Interview Questions and How to Answer

7 June 2016

Going on an interview is definitely nerve-racking. You prepare yourself for those cliché interview questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” or “why do you want to work at our firm?” But what happens when you’re asked an out-of-box question? Are you going to freeze up? Even for the most confident interviewees, you need to be prepared for those oddball questions that could come your way and we’re here to help! Below we have three oddball questions to get you thinking before your next interview.

“If you could be any kind of animal, what would you be?”

This seems to be a common curveball question. Besides trying to keep you on your toes, the point of this question is meant to test your creativity. It’s important here to stay calm and not rush yourself to answer. Take a moment to think and realize that it’s not about what animal you choose, but your explanation as to why you picked that animal. A great answer would be a lion, because lions are independent but also know how to stay with the pack. Or a duck! They look calm on the surface, but they’re working hard underneath to keep moving.

“Would you rather be liked or feared?”

Is this a trick question? I’d say so. The key here is to make your own answer instead of picking from the two options given. If you say you’d rather be liked, it will come off as a weakness. Whereas, if you say you’d rather be feared, it carries negative connotations. My suggestion is that you want to be somewhere in the middle – you want to be respected. To elaborate, you can say something like: “Well I definitely wouldn’t want to be feared as fear isn’t a great motivator, and being liked by everyone isn’t very realistic. I’d much rather be respected but have my coworkers understand that I always do my best to benefit the team.”

“What kinds of people do you find difficult to work with?”

While this question may not be the most out-of-the-box, it is still one that is often difficult to answer. It’s a tough question because you don’t want to come off negatively or answer too personally. I’d use this question as a chance to show that you are a team player. You can say something like, “the only people I find difficult to work with are those who aren’t team players, who complain constantly, and who fail to respond to any efforts to motivate them.” Instead of giving an answer based around someone’s personality, you want to reflect company values directly.

No matter what the curveball question may be, the interviewer is trying to put you on the spot, test your creative thinking, and see how you react under pressure. So do your best to be prepared, get creative and take your time! A logical explanation to how you arrived at your answer will make you look a lot more methodical than a hurried answer.

We’d love to hear the most bizarre interview questions you’ve ever had. Tweet at us @MRStaffing!


About the author

Anna Liza Montenegro

Marketing Director in New York via San Francisco and Manila. Anna Liza is passionate about her kids and inspired by architecture and technology. Fan of traveling, slow food movement, and summers in Maine.