Has this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of an interview – and you’re pumped – because you’re acing the technical questions – when out of the blue the interviewer asks: “If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?” Or, “what’s your favorite color?”
You can sit there frozen, like a deer in headlights, or you can anticipate “wacky questions” and respond calmly and logically. I’m Cat Miller and this is DiceTV.
So why do interviewers ask off-the-wall questions?
Think of it as a pop quiz. The interviewer wants to catch you off guard because unforeseen events happen all the time in IT. He’s looking to see if you can think on your feet and stay calm in stressful situations. Of course, just knowing that you might be asked a wacky question reduces the surprise and allows you to plan your response.
Second, stay calm and take a moment to think before you answer. Your behavior and explanation are critical, so don’t stress out about whether your favorite color is red or yellow.
Explain your answer and link it to your personal brand. Allow me to demonstrate. If I were an animal I’d be a dolphin because they’re intelligent and they travel in pods and I’m a great team player. Here’s another example: I’d be an owl because they’re wise and my co-workers always come to me for technical answers and advice.
Don’t say you’d be a dominant animal like a lion or a gorilla if you’ve been an IT manager and you’re applying for a programming job because it opposes your goal. Which leads me to lesson number fumph, ah five – anticipate and prepare.
Although you never know exactly what an interviewer might ask, wacky questions usually fall into a few categories. Interviewers often ask about your heroes, your favorite food, car or color and your least favorite subject in school. Just thinking about your answers before the interview will help you respond with confidence.
I’m Cat Miller and this has been Dice TV. We now return you to your regular desktop.