Many candidates fail in the interview process because they walked in unprepared. As an Executive Recruiter I have seen it happen time and time again. They had all the experience that the hiring company was looking but they failed to deliver in the interview. Here is the big question:
How do you handle unusual interview questions?
What do you do when asked unusual interview questions? Here are some great examples:
If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be?
If you were a peice of furniture, what kind of furniture would you be?
If you were a famous person, who would you be?
Not only those off the wall questions, but I have seen many people fail at the common questions as well.
Tell me about yourself?
What are your weaknesses?
Why do you want to work for us?
I am going to share with you what I call the “InterviewEdge Mindset.” I could go through each possible question and give you a rehearsed answer that you could use, but better then that I want you to develop the proper mindset. having the proper mindset will allow you to overcome even the wackiest interview question.
Here are the four principled questions that you must answer in order to nail the interview:
Regardless of the question what they are really asking is….
1. Do I Like You?
Never under estimate this simple little question. Sometimes this is decided in the first 30 seconds. Are you likeable? Would I want to work with you? Would you be a drag to the atmosphere or positive, helpful and uplifting? Make sure you smile and take a genuine interest in the person who is interviewing you. Don’t talk too much and try too hard. It is much like a dating relationship in some respects. You can’t come across too strong, but you must show a genuine interest as well. This little questionwill make or break you in the first 30 seconds.
2. Why should I Hire You?
Why should I give you a shot? This question is a little more obvious but still important. In the mind of the hiring manager they are evaluating this question over and over in their mind as the interview process continues. There is an element of chemistry to this question as well. If you answer the first question easily for them then this question will not be so hard. They will still want to know how your experience relates. The best way to answer this question is to use lots of wonderful, practical examples. Tell them how you were able to improve, discover, save and contribute to the bottom line.
3. Will You Fit In?
This is another bug question that most people do not realize is being asked in the head of the interviewer. You need to be able to answer this question for them. Most people leave scratching their heads wondering why they didn’t get the job if they said all the right answers. You have to be a culture fit. To be honest, sometimes you can not overcome this. For whatever reason it just isn’t the right fit. However, you must atleast attempt to answer this question. The easiest way to do this is from networking. netwroking will give you a competitive edge. If working with a recruiter, ask them to spend some time telling you about the company culture. If netwroking, find people who have either worked there or know someone who has and find out the company culture. This is an important part of interview research that most people never do.
4. Can You Remove the Pain?
This is the biggie! While all these question are important for you to answer, this is the question that can catapult you to an offer even if you may fail at some of the first three. When a position is open and it is needed there always exists some form of pain. Something is not being done or the last person never accomplished certain important objectives that they want. Really this is selling 101. You need to find out what the pain is an offer a solution so compelling that they are ready for you to start tomorrow. These are what I call the “Hot Buttons.” If working with a good recruiter, they work hard to discover these. They know if they can provide someone who can ease the pain, they will get an offer. Again, this is where networking can work in your favor again. If you do not have that luxury then ask what I consider to be the most powerful question that you can ask in an interview:
If I started this job tomorrow, what would be my two or three most pressing priorities?
If you can give some good example to those top priorities, then you are just a step away from an offer. Develop the InterviewEdge Mindset and watch for future blogs as I explore this mindset further. Be ready to answer those tough accounting interview questions.