Have you ever gotten a weird interview question? If you were a pizza delivery driver, how would you use a pair of child safety scissors? What’s the last gift you gave someone? If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be? If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
These questions might seem, on the surface, to be either nonsense or gotcha-type questions but they’re not really that. In fact, these questions are usually carefully planned ways to surprise interesting and telling information out of you. How creative is your thought process? How thoughtful a friend are you? Who are you and what do you value?
The trick to answering these questions the “right” way (meaning the way that highlights your best qualities) is to work backwards and try to figure out what’s behind the question. Are they looking for your logic processes? Do they want to know that you think outside the box? Are they trying to learn what it would be like to spend 40 or so hours a week with you? (Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of weird questions to think about.)
Once you know why they’re asking, you should be able to come up with an answer. And then, when it’s time to ask your questions, you can turn those same weird questions right back at your interviewers: So you all know that, if I won the lottery, I’d start a literacy program for adults. What would each of you do with your winnings? That way, you each get to know something about each other in order to make the most informed decision about the job. Weird questions for the win!