As a potential employee you should always head into a job interview with hope and excitement, a freshly edited resume clutched in your fist, and sporting your most appropriate outfit. You feel ready for all those interview questions.
Hope and excitement helps get you through the door. That fabulous outfit helps you feel good and gives a good first impression. The freshly edited resume has helped refresh your memory of exactly how many years you have worked, the list of equipment you have run and all those other details of your employment history.
You sit down, ready to answer any interview question about former employers, work duties, improved revenues and length of employment. But before you even have time to adjust yourself in the seat you might be blindsided by a few “trick” interview questions. Trick questions that will actually determine if you will be hired or not!
Tricky Interview Question #1:
Why are manhole covers round?
One of the craziest “trick” interview questions has been made popular by the hiring team over at Microsoft – “Why are manhole covers round?” This is a question that is designed to knock the interviewee out of their typical mindset of resume thinking, and force them to quickly think on their feet.
What the heck do manhole covers have to do with computer operators, motel operation, office assistant or whatever job you may be applying for? It doesn’t! This question is often used in businesses where a new employee will come in to work as part of a dynamic team. It is designed to show if the candidate can think of their feet, be flexible, work through a problem and work with others.
Manhole covers don’t have to be round, and that’s the whole point. Can you adapt to this sort of question quickly, punt a good answer off your hip and keep a smile on your face? Most important, this sort of question is designed to help the interviewer see how you respond when wrong. Because the question doesn’t really have a ‘right’ answer, it will help bring out any deep personality flaws that show you will not be good working on a team.
Always answer these types of interview questions with a smile and a confident, “Maybe.” You don’t know the answer; don’t pretend that you do. A good sense of humor here will win you lots of points.
Tricky Interview Question #2:
Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is a question that can easily take a prospective employee by surprise. Job seekers find themselves living in the moment, one day at a time, and often are not giving a lot of thought to a future.
This question can be particularly difficult for someone who has been out of work for a long time, or for someone who has multiple resumes in play. Job hunting is a difficult task for most people, and it can play havoc with your future dreams.
Perhaps one day you are giving up on the job hunt all together and starting to plan your own business. Perhaps another day you are gazing longingly at the yellow rubber gloves in the cleaning aisle of the grocery store and thinking wistfully of a job washing dishes. More than likely you don’t have a clear picture of your future, and this question can both take you by surprise and create a terrible awkward moment in the interview.
So be prepared for interview questions that make you stop and think. If you are taken by surprise with these or similar interview questions go ahead and do exactly what you need to do. Stop and think. Answer honestly with a smile. Remember, tricky interview questions like these could be what lands you the job!