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Bizarre Interview Questions: Don’t Let Them Throw You!

Cars on the BeltwayHave you ever been in an interview, thinking that everything is going along “swimmingly,” when someone asks you a question and you think, “where did that come from?”  One of the favorite oddball questions thrown to me was “how many cars are on the beltway?”  That question made an impact, because it’s been nearly 15 years since it was asked of me. I’ve read that others have been asked: “How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?”  or “If you delivered pizza’s, how would you benefit from scissors?”

One asked of me recently was: “Are you a nice person? Why?” This one actually made me tear up as I thought about all of the wonderful people in my life. I’m glad it was on a “video interview” with the computer asking me questions (no human interaction. That’s a blog, btw, that’s going to be a hoot to write). I do wish that I had been able to pause or re-wind the interview, but, I forged ahead, talking about all of the people in my life and that they wouldn’t be there if I wasn’t a nice person (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). It also gave me an opportunity to highlight my compassion and love for others.

As terrifying or strange as these questions may seem, they are being asked for a reason, not necessarily for the right answer or to make you squirm. Actually, the interviewer is trying to determine how quickly you think on your feet or problem solve, how you’ll approach a difficult situation, and most importantly, your attitude or approach to the challenge. Do you remain positive and proactive and try to resolve the problem or do you throw up your hands and say “who cares?” (Not a good answer, btw).

So, when asked the crazy question, the one that may make your brain feel as if it’s about to burst, take a deep breath, perhaps say “what an interesting question” to give you time to think and then try to answer it to the best of your ability, all with a smile. I’m waiting for someone to ask me the question: “What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now!”  It may be that my dream comes true!

Here’s to!

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