Weird Interview Questions

Last week I heard from two clients who are landing interviews and both had been asked weird questions. Like I've said before, synchronicity happens a lot in my world!

BTW, this is a topic that I cover in my interview coaching.

One client, a Marketing Professional, had been asked whether she was a cat person or a dog person. Now, this client is an uber creative who loves working for start-ups, so she is not without creative resources. But even she could not figure out what the interviewer hoped to gain. She knew that cat people are typically seen as being quite independent, and dog people more sociable, but truth is she is allergic to cats and thus has a dog. If you answer the question "incorrectly," you feel like you may have blown your chance, but what is the "correct" answer? Well, it has nothing to do with the actual animal; it has everything to do with your backup reasoning.

The second client, an Engineer turned Senior Product Manager specializing in technical manufacturing products, was asked "If you were an inanimate object, what would you be?" Really? His take on it was that the recruiter was inexperienced. Not having met the recruiter I cannot really comment, but I gotta tell you he may be onto something.

What valuable, critical, insightful info can the recruiter really gain with the answer? Given that most of us do not ponder this question, at all, ever, it would be difficult to come up with a particularly useful answer on the spur of the moment. And again, it's not the actual object that is important, it's the commentary you provide on your choice that gives you at least some opportunity to influence the recruiter's perception of your suitability for the position.

What weird question have you been asked? Did you answer? And if so, how, and were you comfy that the answer didn't blow you right out of the race?