No matter how much you prepare for your interview, a potential employer can throw out an oddball question like "How do you rob a bank?" Although trick questions might seem irrelevant to the job, they serve a test of your personality. The interviewer probably does not care so much about a specific answer, so much as that you give one.
Traditional interview questions are common to just about every industry. For instance, a typical interviewer might ask about your strengths and weaknesses, and how college prepared you for the job. Also, traditional interview questions allow you to explain your accomplishments, goals and qualifications in depth because your resume has such limited space. Trick questions can ask you anything, even things like "What is your screen name?" or "How many burgers Americans buy each year?"
The traditional interview rarely correlates to how an applicant performs on the job, according to Nancy K. Austin of Ask The Headhunter. Trick interview questions can give the hiring manager a better idea of a candidate's ability to do a job and how he handles situations. For instance, some corporations sack traditional interview questions totally and give applicants a business problem to solve. Tricky questions can also give away a candidate's personality and ability to handle stress. For instance, one manager gives applicants the keys to his car and tells them to drive around the block.
Common Trick Questions
The use of trick questions is so common that there are some "traditional" trick questions. Instead of asking about your accomplishments, the interview might ask "Tell me about yourself." Some of the trickiest questions are also the simplest. For example, the interview might ask "Who is your hero?" or "What's the last book you read?"
The worst thing you can do is not have an answer for a question or lie, according to Michelle Goodman NWJobs. For some questions, the interviewer just wants to see that you can improvise a solution and do not succumb to stressful situations. You can even draw out diagrams for some questions, such as if you are given a complex math problem. Never talk ill of past employers or employees. Keep confident body language even if you are nervous. For example, do not babble, fiddle with your hands or look at the ground.