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Top Secret! 20 Extraordinary Answers To Tricky Interview Questions

Top Secret! 20 Extraordinary Answers To Tricky Interview Questions

Interview questions can be pretty tough. Employers know if an employee is qualified to do the work before they walk into the interview. The real question is how does each perspective employee react to situations outside of their control. Many companies ask the same old questions but a few have gotten really creative. Let’s take a look at some great answers to some tricky interview questions.

1.Question: What would you do if the Internet went down?

This question is posed as a simple problem solving exercise. The lazy and uninspired would probably just call IT and let them deal with it. A more practical approach would be to figure out if it’s something that’s happening inside the building only or if there is a regional outage. For bonus points, offer to work from your home internet or even take your laptop to your local WiFi hot spot and work from there.

2. Question: How many skis are sold in Sweden every year?

tricky interview questions

    Answer: This classic question can be asked a number of different ways but the point is the same. The boss is asking you how you’d go about finding out this information. You can say that you’d use Google Search to find data such as the population of Sweden, how often people replace their skis, and perhaps sales records from companies that are local to Sweden. It’s not about finding the answer but how you go about finding the answer.

    3. Question: Tell me about a time you had to deliver some bad news.

    Answer: It’s all about how you deal with giving bad news. If you’re a doctor the reason for this question is uncomfortable but fairly obvious. If you’re in management you may have to fire someone. The key is to tell them that you plan on rehearsing your answer and that you show compassion when delivering bad news. It’s one of the hardest things to give bad news so the more tactful you can be, the better the answer will sound.

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    4. Question: What is your guilty pleasure?

    Answer: Choose something that you can do that isn’t shameful or embarrassing. For instance, my guilty pleasure is watching TV show marathons. I once watched an entire season of Star Trek: The Next Generation in two days. Something like that is a good answer. Talking about how you like to go out and get smashed wasted on alcohol is a bad answer. Just use common sense.

    5. Question: What is your favorite day of the week?

    Answer: Any day of the week that isn’t Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Employers want to hear you say that you enjoy work. This question is commonly asked to people applying to places like Amazon where the culture is that of a workaholic. You want to answer Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday and tell them it’s because you like being busy. The weekend is coming anyway, there’s no need to glorify it in your job interview.

    6. Question: Will you be out to take my job?

    Answer: Under no circumstances should you tell the boss that you’re out for his job. Instead, placate them. State that you would probably like his job in a number of years after s/he has moved up the ladder. That way you don’t have to hide that you’re looking for a higher paying job with more responsibility and it shows that you’re willing to work with your boss to move up together. That’s a win-win.

    7. Question: What is your biggest weakness that is really a weakness and not a strength?

    Answer: Well the classic workaholic answer gets thrown out the window. What you want to do is choose a character trait that is really a weakness but in a way that is still work appropriate. Business Insider recommends saying something like telling your boss that you’re impatient and you expect people to do their jobs correctly the first time. You can then wheel back and state that you deal with this weakness by letting people know that they’re not doing their jobs correctly and offer to help. That’s a winning answer.

    8. Question: You have changed careers before. Why should I pay you if you’re going to change again?

    Answer: This is a tough one to answer because frankly you’d switch careers again if you needed to. Instead of committing, explain the benefits of having switched careers before. Let them know that your prior careers have given you experience and a diversity of problem solving skills that allow you to approach issues more creatively.

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    9. Question: Tell me a story about the last time you had to apologize to someone.

    Answer: This question (that’s clearly not a question) is specially crafted and asked to see how you deal with being wrong. Here’s the thing. It’s not about what you did wrong. It’s about what you did afterward. Be sure to choose a mistake from which you learned and grew. Tell them what you learned about your mistake, how you fixed it, and why you won’t do it again. Whatever you do, don’t deny that you make mistakes. Frankly, that is really stupid. We’re humans, we all make mistakes.

    10. Question: What would you do if you found out your best friend at work was stealing?

    Answer: I hate this question, don’t you? Thankfully, there is a good answer. Tell your boss that you want to know the severity of the theft. If it’s like a couple of paper clips, you’ll remain loyal to your friend. If it’s something truly heinous you’ll have no choice but to turn them in. After all, your friend is putting your job at risk too by letting you know about it.

    11. Question: Here’s a somewhat large number listed in random order. Find the missing number.

    Answer: These are tedious and annoying but there is a reason. This is meant to test your attention to detail. There is a really good way to do this called the Sieve of Eratosthenes. Here’s how it works. You go through and find all the numbers that are divisible by two and cross them off. Then do it again with three, then 5, then 7, then 11, etc until you find the missing number. The key is to use prime numbers. Check the link above to learn more about it.

    12. Question: Do you think you’ll ever be so angry that you’ll quit?

    Answer: This is actually a trickier question than you think it is. If you tell them you’ll never get that angry it actually shows a lack of passion. Getting angry means you care and not getting angry means you don’t care. The best way to answer is to admit that you may get frustrated every now and then but then talk about how you manage your anger so that it doesn’t become a problem.

    13. Question: Why do humans have two eyes?

    Answer: Questions like this get asked fairly frequently although the content of the question may be different. The idea is to get you to think outside the box. For this, there is a right and a wrong answer but the right answer may lead to more difficult questions. The point is that bosses are trying to get you to think about something you may not know a lot about. Don’t get frustrated, answer to the best of your ability, and if you don’t know then create an educated guess and explain why you guessed that way. It’s better to try than to say you don’t know because that shows a lack of creativity and critical thinking skills.

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    14. Questions: Should poetry be difficult to understand?

    Answer: This is another one of those brain teasers that are designed to make you think. Like the last one there is no right or wrong answer. However, it is important to consider other people before yourself. If poetry is difficult to understand than it obviously has a deep meaning. However, if it is too difficult there’s no way our children will ever understand it and may never read it. It’s all about compromise, thinking of others, and having a conversation. All of these traits are important.

    15. Question: Why were you not promoted at your last job?

    Answer: Your boss is essentially asking you if you’re a good worker. People who get promoted regularly are those who are perceived to be better workers than those who were deemed not worthy for promotion. The key here is to emphasize that you were working hard to help in any way you could. It was through loyalty to the company that you worked that long without a promotion.

    16. Question: Why is the vision of our company important to you?

    Answer: This question is meant to flesh out what you know about the company. Under no circumstances should you answer with statements like how they pay you money or had a job opening. Before going into the interview you should do some research about the company and see if there’s anything you like about it. If so, use that as your answer. If not, simply state that you like what they’re doing and that it’s a team you can see yourself being a part of.

    17. Question: How would your peers describe you?

    Answer: This question is all about self-awareness and with a question like this you need to cherry pick answers from both sides. You should pick a few traits that people like about you but make sure to pick a couple of things that people don’t like about you. Bosses like to hear that you’re human and they love hearing that you’re aware of your flaws.

    18. Question: What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

    Answer: The question may seem pretty simple but there is a lot of meaning behind it. What your boss is trying to figure out is what motivates you. They need to know that when things get rough, you can always find a reason to keep working hard and doing your best. That means it’s important to choose an answer that’s universal and constant. You may think kids are a good answer but consider this. If you have a 15-year-old, your motivation is only living at home for another three years before your motivation goes off to college, moves out, or otherwise leaves. Your boss may not think you’re motivated after that happens.

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    19. Question: Why are manhole covers round?

    tricky interview questions

      Answer: This is actually not a trick question disguised as a trick question. There is a real answer to this question. Manhole covers are round because that prevents the lid from falling into the sewer. This is a question that questions your common sense. These sort of questions have an obvious answer that people who pay attention would know. Here’s hoping you’ve been paying attention to, you know, life.

      20. Question: How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?

      Answer: Many of these questions are designed to look simple but are really complicated. This is exactly the opposite. This sounds complex but it’s actually extremely easy so don’t over think it! You may be trying to figure out how many windows are in Seattle and give a ballpark figure for all of them in the millions of dollars range. Seriously, just say tell them that you’d do it for $15-$20 per window and you’re done.

       

      Interviews are getting increasingly difficult. Employers want smarter employees that can do more for them than just their basic jobs. Creativity and hard work are equally as important. Be prepared for the interesting questions!

      Featured photo credit: Details.com via details.com

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      Last Updated on January 14, 2019

      The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

      The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

      Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

      We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

      You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

      Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

      Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

      1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

      Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

      Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

      You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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      Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

      Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

      2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

      Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

      Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

      3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

      Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

      How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

      Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

      Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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      Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

      4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

      It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

      With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

      If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

      Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

      Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

      5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

      Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

      However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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      Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

      If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

      With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

      Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

      6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

      The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

      You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

      A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

      By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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      • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
      • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
      • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
      • Is this aligned with my passion?
      • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

      Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

      7. Be Prepared to Let Go

      It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

      Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

      If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

      When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

      Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

      We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

      The Bottom Line

      Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

      More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

      Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

      Reference

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