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Catch me if you can – Your top 10 unexpected interview questions as mentioned by Top Recruiters


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Interviews always remind me of the movie “Catch me if you can”, where the whole game was about Tom Hanks trying to get a grip on Leonardo DiCaprio by getting him to make a mistake or a slip, and sometimes it sounds like interviewers are pretty much Tom hanks and it’s up to you to pull a good DiCaprio to pass the interview.

Most of today’s young professionals have been through a hell lot of interviews, that start even before they graduate: student organizations and clubs, NGO’s and volunteer work, student councils and unions … You name it, they have been there and done that. Everyone also knows the repeated, “clichés” questions like “what are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “What was your biggest accomplishment or failure?” or even more basic down to “What do you know about our company?”. Not so interesting, eh? Because let’s face it: everyone goes to interviews prepared to give the perfect “different” answer to these questions, and even if the applicant doesn’t have a lot of experience sitting for interviews, Google will bring you all of these if you just ask it to bring you the most popular interview questions.

What Batenborch Team Leader Lebinh Luc found out after almost a decade of talking with executives, recruiters and basically HR people was that most of them like to repeat these questions over and over again. It’s just too easy. However, it is also to remember that different companies do stuff differently, and so do their people: Lebinh gathered the most unusual questions that can be asked during a selection process, that have as an aim to get the applicant out of their comfort zone, because this is where the true personality shines.

Some of the business leaders and HR directors that I have met over the years, are able to pull candidates out of their comfort zone by asking them unusual questions.

Yup, that’s right, this a blog post about the 10 most unusual interview questions that can be a make-it or break-it deal for you:

  1. What is your definition of success?
  2. Why should I not hire you?
  3. What historical figure do you admire and why? ( = If you could choose anyone (alive or deceased) to have lunch with, who would this be?)
  4. What does your current employer think you are doing today? (This trick question is not very much about integrity as about seeing how you react when tackled with a surprise situation)
  5. Do you consider yourself to be a nice person? (The HR director who asked this question explained that the best answer for him is asking back what his definition of nice would be before answering, quite tricky, right?)
  6. My wife and I are planning to go on a holiday. What can you recommend us? (Will you be so eager to give advice and showcase your experience, or gonna ask and probe first to give the best recommendation)
  7. Describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seatbelt. (Your ability to explain and communicate a simple process is a good indicator on how well can you do with a complex, strategic one. Take care not to overcomplicate what needs not to be overcomplicated).
  8. If you had turned your cell phone to silent, and it rang really loudly despite it being on silent, what would you tell me? (Will you be an apologetic sweetheart who will sweat, or a person who chooses their battles and prefers to explain and defend?)
  9. If you bought this company tomorrow, what is the first thing you would change and why? (Did you do any preparation further than checking the company’s mobile website on your way here, or do you have a vision? Be honest, but not too “revolutionary”)
  10. What is said in your personal guidebook? (Do you have a clear self-perception, or just oblivious to yourself?)

The previous are not the only surprise questions you might encounter, and the question that might “boulverse” you will probably occur to the HR manager interviewing you on his way to work that morning, so a good advice is to sleep well, know a good deal about the company, be neat and smelling good, and expect the unexpected.

Of course, your degree of expecting the unexpected can increase with the help of Batenborch’s own consultants and expertise. Just drop us a line! Send your CV

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