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Top Secret! 20 Extraordinary Answers To Tricky Interview Questions

Top Secret! 20 Extraordinary Answers To Tricky Interview Questions
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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!

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      Featured photo credit: Details.com via details.com

      More by this author

      Joseph Hindy

      A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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      Published on July 27, 2021

      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

      15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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      During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

      But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

      Put the Pro in Professional

      After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

      1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

      The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

      Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

      2. Dress the Part

      While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

      Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

      For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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      Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

      3. Stage Your Workspace

      Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

      Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

      4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

      Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

      Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

      Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

      Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

      5. Arrive on Time

      In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

      Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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      6. Turn on Your Video

      Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

      If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

      Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

      7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

      Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

      Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

      Attend to the Pesky Details

      8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

      With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

      Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

      9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

      Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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      Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

      10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

      As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

      Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

      Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

      Talking Has a Time and a Place

      11. Chat Appropriately

      Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

      At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

      12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

      The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

      Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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      13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

      In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

      Manage Yourself

      14. Minimize Distractions

      While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

      Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

      15. Save Snacking for Later

      Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

      However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

      Final Thoughts

      Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

      Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

      Reference

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