Job interviews are super stressful, and when you get asked a question you weren’t expecting, the stress level increases. Companies can be unpredictable, too: you can never be 100% sure of what a company really wants or what the interviewer is really thinking.
Often, interviews are a way for a company to test a candidate’s ability to think fast and respond well under pressure. For this reason, interviewers like to occasionally throw some strange questions at job seekers. Prepare yourself for this very real possibility by learning how to respond to some of the strangest real-life job interview questions ever.
“If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?”
This question can take many forms. I’ve seen “what kind of animal would you be” and “what brand of cereal would you be” in interviews too. Whatever the form the question takes, here’s a secret: when a company asks you a question like this, they want to see confidence and a quick intellect from you. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter what you say, as long as you are confident and treat the question as an opportunity to showcase your best professional attributes. A good answer to this question would be something like:
“I would be a redwood tree because I like stability, and want to stay at my company and grow for a long time.”
Nice! Not only did you wow the interviewer with your confidence, you showed them that stability and career growth is important to you.
“Are you a hunter or a gatherer?”
This question is designed to test a candidate’s basic strengths, and there is not one right answer. However, the answer you give will depend heavily on the job that you’re applying for. Here are some examples:
- If you’re applying for a sales job, the response “I’m a hunter, because I’m able to aggressively find clients and close leads” would be very appropriate.
- If you’re applying for an accounting job, the response “I’m a gatherer, because I’m very comfortable collecting financial information and making sense of it” would be perfect.
This question is fairly common, so rehearse your response in your mind to ensure you answer clearly and confidently.
“Imagine that you were given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with it?”
This question is once again testing your ability to think on your feet. It’s also a subtle way of gauging your sense of humor, so don’t be afraid to smile. If you have ever wanted to ride an elephant to work, this is your opportunity to tell the world about it! Oh, and if you choose that response, make sure you mention that riding an elephant to work is much healthier for the environment than driving a car!
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