Be Aware of These Uncommon Questions

John Krautzel
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You can research and prepare for a job interview for an entire week, but hiring managers will still find ways to surprise you with an uncommon interview question or two. Discover how to answer five strange, or even awkward, interview questions. Employers may ask these questions to gauge your reaction or simply throw you off guard. Regardless of the reason, it's important to know how to handle them.

1. "Do You Have a Spouse?"

This uncommon interview question raises a red flag because it's illegal and discriminatory to ask this question to candidates. Reply with a blanket statement that says, "I'm not sure how that question is relevant to this position." Another way to respond is to simply get up and leave the interview entirely, because you may not want to work for an organization that blatantly defies federal employment law and discriminates against protected classes of people.

2. "What Kind of Pets Do You Have?"

Asking about pets is an uncommon interview question, but it does delve into your type of personality. Providing an answer about a Teacup Yorkie that rips intruders to shreds is humorous, but an honest answer is probably best here. Saying you have three spoiled cats who rule over your golden retriever shows, in a subtle way, that you have a can-do attitude that overcomes large obstacles as part of a team. Having happy pets at home also demonstrates that you have a caring and nurturing nature.

3. "How Would Your Friends Describe You?"

Answering this uncommon interview question gives you an opportunity to relate some aspect of your personality to the position at hand. For example, you could go with a humorous reply and say " My friends are annoyed with me because I couldn't stop talking about this awesome job interview with your company." You could also be honest and respond with an answer such as, "My friends think I'm conscientious and know that I would help any of them in a pinch if they need me."

4. "Why Shouldn't We Hire You?"

Instead of thinking of this as an uncommon interview question, you already rehearsed how to practice for "What is your greatest weakness?" You might turn this question around and surprise someone with your clever wit with, "You shouldn't hire me if you are willing to settle for average, because in terms of delivering results, I'm an 11 out of 10." This response shows confidence in your abilities with a bit of boasting.

5. "Why Did Your Last Supervisor Fire You?"

Your answer to this question lets employers know if you have a negative attitude toward your previous employer. Be honest, forthright and concise here by saying what lesson you learned from the experience and how you've moved on and put the situation behind you.

An uncommon interview question or two can throw you off and make you uncomfortable, which is why some hiring managers make these types of queries. How you handle them demonstrates your ability to adapt and think on the fly, which is an important job skill that employers want to see.

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