It sounds contradictory, but there’s a specific area of interviews where your best strategy is preparing to be unprepared. Don’t worry—it’s nothing stressful and in some ways a little fun. We’re talking specifically about oddball questions.
Most employers will spend a majority of the interview asking questions related directly to the job. And that makes sense. What might make less sense are the oddball, brainteaser questions that seemingly don’t relate at all. It could be something like, “What do you think about when you’re stuck in traffic?” or, “Animals start talking. What’s the first thing you tell your dog?” or, “Name 3 lesser known presidents.”
What’s the idea behind these weird questions? Employers aren’t just trying to have a laugh—it’s a creative, strategic method to further evaluate your thought process, values, and performance under pressure. The key thing to remember if you get thrown a bizarre question is that it’s not about finding the perfect answer, but it’s about showing how you approach and handle problems.
To answer these questions, think of them as another opportunity to showcase your creative thinking, problem solving, and communication. If possible, try to answer with specific professional examples to further bolster and solidify your soft skills examples.
There’s really no right or wrong answer, but be mindful of how you respond in other ways. You’re being evaluated for everything in interviews including your answers and body language. Remain positive. Don’t say, “What does that have to do with the job?” and don’t frown or take too long to answer. It’s okay to acknowledge that the question is different. You can say, “That’s a fun question,” and then do your best to answer confidently.
Do you want to practice your answers before an interview? It’s a good idea. You can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and ask a career advisor for assistance. Call 602-535-4444 to find a center near you or visit our locations page. Good luck with your job search!