There is no doubt that a job interview can be stressful and gruelling. Not only must we demonstrate that we possess the correct skill sets for a specific position, but it is likely that we are competing against a number of equally qualified candidates. However, there are also times when the questions asked by the recruiter can be downright awkward and confusing. In order for you to be able to make the best impression possible, you will need to know to deal with such situations. Let us take a look at some excellent tips and suggestions.
“Outside of the Box” Questions
These refer to questions which may not seem entirely applicable to the role. Two examples can be seen below:
- “How many other firms are you applying with?”
- “What are your current political affiliations?”
To be absolutely clear, the applicant is not required to answer either of these questions. Still, abstinence could cast a serious shadow over the entire interview and leave a negative first impression. In such instances, it is better to remain vague and reply with statements such as “I have a number of ongoing interviews” or “I have not yet made up my mind”.
The Money Question
There can be times when an interviewer asks how much money you currently make or what you expect your salary to be. Both of these subjects can be a bit perilous; particularly if you are not certain what you will be offered. Deflection is the best approach here. As opposed to quoting an exact figure, it is better to state that you are flexible in terms of pay but that you still believe it should reflect your efforts. Also, focusing upon the rewards of the role is the best way to illustrate your passion for the position.
Some questions or tasks can seem downright outlandish or even ridiculous. For example, this post from HIJOBS has some truly strange questions, like being asked to build a life sized Katie Price using A4 bits of paper and sellotape…
The majority of these exercises are for the recruiter to see how you deal with a confusing situation as opposed to fulfilling a seemingly impossible request. It is best to play along and avoid taking such situations too seriously.
Stay focused Upon the Interview
Awkward questions can easily throw off your momentum and lead to uncomfortable situations. In fact, this could have been the intention of the recruiter. Many experts recommend that you stay focused upon the entire process as opposed to ruminating over a specific line of questioning. If you are able to illustrate that you can keep a cool head, the remainder of the process is likely to run much smoother. Never forget that above all, you are there to demonstrate your skills and talents as opposed to how you deal with the occasional “curve ball”.
Awkward interview questions will inevitably arise from time to time. If you know how to tackle them, landing the role of your dreams could soon become a reality.