How to Answer a Weird and Wacky Interview Question

Weird and wacky interview questions are done on purpose. They are a means to unsettle you, and to test your on-the-spot analytical ability and responsiveness under pressure. They may seem left field but they're testing you just the same as all interview questions. Here are some suggestions for coping with them.


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    Be prepared. Don't expect your interview to be completely seriously focused but do expect the wacky question to have serious intent. In case you get a weird and wacky question, at least expecting it won't throw you.
    • An example of a weird and wacky question is: "If there was a venomous snake sitting on the photocopier, and there is a deadline to meet: What would you do?"
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    Breathe deeply and plunge into an answer using good analytical skills and an appropriate sense of humor. The interviewer is trying to elicit how you react to the question and how well you analyze a problem and find solutions.
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    Answer with thoughtfulness and clarity. Try not to delay too long in responding as this is about "thinking on your feet". Taking the above question, an answer might go something like this:
    • "Well, that's a curious question! I can envisage several possible answers to this one. First, I would ask everyone to vacate the area. And I'd ask if anyone was its owner, failing which, I'd ask if anyone has had experience in handling snakes - you never know what hobbies people have! Then I'd call security and let them know that there was a possibly poisonous snake sitting on the photocopier and could they send someone to help. If I couldn't reach them, I'd do my best to close off the photocopier room so that nobody could go in there and get hurt. If the photocopier were in an open space and we had to meet the deadline, I guess I'd suggest everyone took their laptops outside or to another area or level and block off the whole floor until help arrived, and we'd get on with our deadline! If I found either the owner or someone with snake-handling skills, I'd suggest they help capture it in a bin or printer paper box, or something!"
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    Stay calm and keep focused. Don't make the answer too short, too long-winded, or just plain ridiculous. For example, simply stating you'd get the office staple gun and shoot it would demonstrate that you're potentially easily annoyed and you're not willing to engage in analysis, or that you're not very creative in coming up with solutions.


  • These types of questions are behavioral in nature and do not have right or wrong answers but do have the ability to display the depth or otherwise of your thinking processes.

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Categories: Interview Skills