Job Interviews: How To Survive The ‘Weird’ Question

Starting out in the world of work can be pretty daunting. You can prepare yourself as much as possible: polish those shoes, iron this shirt and comb that hair. What you can’t always be ready for are some of the stranger questions you might face during the interview.

With over 60,000 students in “non-professional” roles after leaving university, the competition for graduate roles is tough and employers know this.  The interview process has become harder and the questions more thought-out.

With the advice below you can swan into any interview with confidence knowing that, whatever they throw at you, you’re prepared and in control!


Some classics

First things first. Here are some queries you may find yourself faced with:

  • If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
  • How honest are you?
  • If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?
  • How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?
  • Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?
  • Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.

There are many more examples of real life questions asked by employers here. What we’re more concerned with is how to answer them.


Stay cool

Don’t let these random questions ruffle your feathers. Remember they are out to test you, to see how you react to difficult situations. Don’t start sweating and look panicked.

Take a few deep calming breaths. This will send signals to your brain to help you relax, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. Remember to make eye contact with the interviewer and show confidence. Even if you don’t feel that way, they don’t need to know that!


Take your time

The interviewer knows what they are doing, so take your time to mull over your response. They won’t be excepting a snap reply to what they’ve asked you. If you need a moment to answer then tell them; it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a moment while you’re thinking. 


Ask questions

Asking questions not only buys you time while you’re thinking, but also shows the interviewer that you can consider problems laterally and at length. Mostly there won’t be a right or wrong answer to these questions; the interviewer is interested in your thought process and how you got to the answer. Ask questions if necessary to help you get there.

Remember that your answer should depend on the kind of company that you’re interviewing for. If you’re at a creative company, they’ll want to see your creativity, whereas if you’re at an accountancy firm they’ll want to see strategic thinking. Consider the skills they’re searching for and apply these to your answer.


Additional tips

Be on time! No one likes a late person; not only does it show lack of planning, but gives the impression that you value your own time over others’.

Research the company. They’re bound to ask what you know about the company, so don’t just smile and nod. Give some thought into what you admire about the company, as well as an aspect of the website that you’ve seen which inspires you. This will show that you’ve done your homework and are interested in the business for its own sake.

Look at other interview tips to keep you in control, and remember to have some fab questions to throw back at them at the end.  If you’re nervous, just remember: practice makes perfect!

With this guidance you’re sure to make a good impression and be prepared for any unusual questions that they may throw your way.  Remember to smile, look tidy and be enthusiastic in your response.  With these handy hints you’ll be sure to knock their socks off.


Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate recruitment agency. To browse graduate jobs, click here. For senior digital and mobile jobs, please see Inspiring Search.