Strange Questions During Job Interviews

Finally, you created a professional resume and you were invited to the first interview. The majority of job seekers already know that questions that may appear during job interviews hardly ever occur in our everyday talks. “What is his most serious mistake, where would he like to be in five years’ time?” There are hardly any inexperienced candidates who would be surprised by questions like these. Although, the world turns round even with the experienced job hunter when the leader of the interview asks “what kind of animal would you like to be, and why?”

Job hunters consider this question as one of the most stupid job interview questions in the world. Different variations of this question are known, the animal may be substituted in the question by the tool, furniture, part of your body or anything else. The most shocking one is the American version that asks the candidate what make of car he would like to be. Of course, it is the year and color that interest the leader of the interview. Behind the interview questions, seeming to be stupid at the first sight there is the Metamorphoses test, worked out by a French psychologist, Jacqueline Royer, in which the motives of the examined person are tried to be mapped with the help of similar questions.

The interpretation of the selected animal, the cultural meaning of an object as it is (for example dolphin = intelligence, helpfulness) is made on this basis. The person who selects the dolphin is not inevitably intelligent and helpful, but at least he would like to be, as the test suggests. An HR specialist does not do anything else but tries to deduce the candidate’s marked personality from the cultural meaning of the selected animal or object.

More exactly, he tries to point to the fact if the particular personality suits the applied position. For example – as an HR specialist gave it away – to the question “what kind of animal would you like to be?” eagle may be good at a financial applied position since an eagle can see through everything. But “eagle” is a bad answer in a position where teamwork is expected. The worst answer is when the applicant cannot or does not want to answer. And presumably one does not get the desired job who accepting a blogger’s advice declares, “I would like to be an animal that feeds on you”.

The Interviewer Won’t Let Me Talk

Janice, a client of mine told me of a recent interview with a legal firm.  She said from the minute the interview started, he talked about himself the whole time.  She now knows that he is the managing  partner, he drives a Lexus and has an antique corvette that rarely gets out of the garage.  Intently she listend to him go on about his ski trips and exercise routine, thinking eventually she could use this information to build a rapore with him.

The opportunity to talk never came.  He only asked one question, “Why should we hire you?”  What do you think she should have done?  The interviewer was clearly conservative, and had set opinions on how women should behave.  If Janice had foribly taken control of the conversation, do you not agree he would have reacted defensively.  Sadly, in the end, he would most  likely make his decision based on the looks of the applicant, how intenlty they listened, and their resume.  Clearly a case where body language is going to play a key role.

On the other hand, should Janice want to work for a law firm that apparently lets its laywers exercise questionable practices?  A job’s a job, isn’t it?  In these hard time you can’t be choosey.  Besides, some of life’s best lessons are learned in the muddy trenches, if you can sort the dirt out.

Janice had to make a concious decision to let the interview slip away.  When you are faced with this situation, yah best be ready with a plan.  You can use “parlor” tricks like dropping your portfolio and making enough of a ruccuss retrieving it that you can interject comments about yourself during the breif hecitation that would follow your slip up.  Interupting with a simple “excuse me, but…” may show the interviewer you’re not a push over who is going to just sit there while the opportunity melts away.

Phone Interview Tips

Why are phone interview tips importance? Why should candidates be prepared for phone interview questions ? Because this is the first round of interview which most candidates get weeded out quickly. The interviewer would sound friendly but be on guard and bear in mind that the person is screening you and how you performed during the conversation would determine your chances of being invited for the next round of interview.

Phone interview might be done by the interviewer or someone assisting him/her. It serves a few purposes:

1) verify missing or unclear information in CV such as working experience & qualification

2) assess candidates  interaction ability

3) assess candidates  passion and zeal towards joining the organization and the job

More often than not, phone interview take place when a larger than expected pool of candidates applied for one vacancy. It is the faster and most straightforward method to reduce the candidate numbers to a manageable size for the next stage of more time consuming interview.

Very important phone interview tip – if you want to stay in the selection process till the end, give what the interviewer is looking for come across as:

1) Confident

2) Energetic

3) Polite

4) Attentive

5) Professional

6) Knowledgeable

7) Passionate for the job

In order to sound energetic and attentive, you should either be in a standing position or sitting tall. Stop every task you are doing. Do not allow yourself to be interrupted or distracted. Put on a smile. As you might hear it many times before, the person on the other end of the phone, might not see you but he/she can hear your smile and energy level.

If you received a call for phone interview at work, quickly step out or aside, from the ear shoot of your colleagues.

Go to a quiet environment where you can engage with the interviewers in private and at length. If not, politely explained your situation and request for name, contact number and time to return call. And do return call as you have promised. If the person did not pick up the call and you need to leave a message on the voice mail or with his/her colleague, do provide the essential information like your name, purpose of call and contact number. Never provide your present office phone number even if it is your direct line.

Use the phone interview to your advantage too.

Check with the person on the Company’s culture, dress code and how the shortlisted candidates would be assessed subsequently. For example, number of interviews, panel of interviewers, types of assessments and start date. However, resist from keeping the interviewer on the line for too long or start getting casual with him/her. Stay professional throughout the call and ensure you are speaking in a constant and calm voice. Learn other phone interview tips with your personal career coach.