While job interviews can already be an intimidating process, interview questions that throw you for a loop make the process even more difficult. The good news is that we’re here to help you for a better shot at being ready for those curveball questions. As experts when it comes to career coaching, we at The Five O’Clock Club have compiled a list of the trickiest interview questions, in an effort to help you nail that interview and begin your career transition.
1. How much should you charge to wash all of the windows in Seattle?
Some interview questions are meant to sound intimidating. When thinking about this question, most will try to calculate how many windows there are in Seattle, but this question can be thought about in a much more simplistic way. Think about the work itself – washing windows. How would you go about charging people for washing their windows?
The best way to answer this is with a straightforward answer, such as a fixed amount per window, or an hourly rate at which you’d charge. Of course, be sure to explain your thought process when calculating your rate. The interviewer is more interested in how you come to your answer and the steps you take to get there.
2. Explain a database in a couple sentences to your eight-year-old nephew.
Google commonly asks this question, and its core purpose is to see if you can simplify a complex idea and eliminate all technical jargon. This skill is especially important when in client-facing roles, as your clients often will not be able to keep up with technical language.
As for an actual answer to this question, we’d recommend something along the lines of “A database is a machine that remembers a lot of information about a lot of things.” This answer is short and sweet, just like the interviewer asked for.
3. If you had a machine that produced endless amounts of money, how much would you pay for it?
This question has a lot of loopholes, so the first thing we’d advise is to get more information. Ask questions that you feel are applicable, such as “Is there risk involved?” By asking these analytical questions, you are showing that you think problems through before jumping to a solution.
4. What did you have for breakfast?
This question may strike you as irrelevant, but the interviewer asks questions like this to gauge if you would be a good fit for the company’s culture. Your answer should be upbeat and relatable. Be sure to answer according to whatever vibe that company gives off, and hold a positive attitude!
5. Aren’t you over/under-qualified for this position?
The proper answer to this question will tell the interviewer exactly why you are the right fit for the position, regardless of if you are over or underqualified. Be sure to explain that despite your level of experience, you are eager to gain (additional) experience in that industry and you are eager to learn.
6. Describe the color yellow to somebody who’s blind.
Your answer to this question will tell the interviewer a lot about your sensitivity, spontaneity, and ability to express more abstract concepts. To answer this question, you should think about the characteristics of the color yellow and explain them in a positive way (without naming object that are yellow, such as a banana).
7. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
This question is asking about how you prioritize and keep organized. The ideal candidate for most positions does a good job of dealing with situations according to their level of priority.
One possible way to take on this task is to search for names of people that usually send high-priority emails, or search for subject lines that include high priority keywords.
8. What would the person who likes you least in the world say about you?
This question is similar to asking what your weaknesses are. Do your best to think of a quality or personality trait that could appear negative initially, for example, being stubborn. Then, do your best to spin it into something positive, like how your somewhat stubborn personality allows you to be a hard worker who does not quit until you feel the job is done properly.
9. Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a manager. How was it resolved?
This is a classic conflict resolution question. We recommend using the STAR format, in which you take the interviewer through the situation/task, your approach/action, and the resolution to the problem. Give plenty of context and do your very best to think of a situation in which you were not in the wrong.
10. Why shouldn’t I hire you?
This is one of the most common difficult job interview questions. This question is quite a curveball, which allows interviewers to see how you respond to unexpected situations. The proper answer to this question will talk about any weaknesses that you feel you have; however, you should offset these with your overwhelming initiative to address your weaknesses, or what you have done about your weaknesses in the past.
Career Coaching From The Five O’Clock Club Even with preparation, job interviews can be tough – going to a job interview without being prepared is even tougher! The Five O’Clock Club has had over 30 years of experience in career coaching and assisting individuals in their career transitions, and one of our specialties is interview preparation. If you are looking to take the next step in your career, contact us and we will help you get to where you want to be.