As you get ready for job interviews, chances are you focus your preparation mainly on answering questions related to your professional experience, education and skills. However, often candidates are faced with interview questions that go beyond the typical line of questioning. In fact, these more “off color” questions can often delve into personal territory which may surprise you during the interview. Rather than let these questions derail your interview performance, it’s best to prepare for them.
Here are three unexpected interview questions to keep in mind as you gear up for interviews:
What do you do for fun?
You probably wouldn’t expect to discuss your hobbies and recreational interests during a formal job interview. However, more employers are increasingly inquiring about candidates’ interests outside their careers in an effort to find employees who are well-rounded. This has to do with finding employees who will be a good “culture fit” and work well with others at the organization. When asked this question, it’s best to be honest about what you truly enjoy doing for fun. Do you enjoy yoga? Reading? Hiking? Say it! However, you’ll want to avoid noting anything that could bode unfavorable to you, such as recreational drinking on the weekends! When in doubt, avoid saying anything that could reflect negatively on your character.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
This is another question that may catch you off guard and leave you stumbling on your words. It’s best to reframe this type of question in your mind in terms of where you see your career in five or ten years. What type of leadership role or title do you hope to have? What would you like to be doing? In essence, the employer is trying to get a sense of your career goals, so they can determine whether you have growth potential at their organization. It’s also a way for them to see how motivated and invested you are in your career.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
Again, many employers want an “inside” look into candidates’ personalities and life experiences. With this question, you’ll want to reflect on what makes you unique from a personal standpoint. Have you been working since you were 10 years old on a farm? Do you come from a large family? Were you born in another country? Employers seek diversity in the workplace and want to build teams of workers from all different walks of life. Use this question as an opportunity to shed light on your personal background and standing out in the candidate pool.
While questions like these can sometimes throw you off course, they are really a way for you to express yourself and let the employer see the “big picture” of you as a candidate. Rather than become nervous or scripted, it’s best to answer these types of questions in the most genuine and meaningful way possible.
Ready to embark on your job search this summer?
Look no further than The Liberty Group, with locations in major cities throughout the United States – including offices in New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Ohio and the Carolinas. Contact us, today!