Job Interviewing Skills: Preparing for the Off the Wall
Winning the Job Interview with Preparation
Every interviewer has a group of off the wall interview
questions waiting to ask them on some unsuspecting job candidate. Sometime they ask the questions and
sometimes not, it all seems so random. Learn how to improve your job interviewing skills.
An unusual question like, “if you were a bird what
kind would you be, and why?” Wow how do you prepare for a question like that? And what is the right answer? Or is
there a right answer?
Job Interview Preparation Tips
Before we give you the best answer to this off the
wall question let’s go through your preparation for a job interview with more normal questions.
In your interview preparation make sure you have a
high level of confidence presenting your achievements in a concise cogent manner.
In addition, in your answers to information about
yourself, your skills and qualifications; you should weave in your leadership, team building, and other relevant
A Winning Interview Approach
If you prepared for every possible question that
might be asked you would run out time before the interview. In a study of possible interview questions, the number
exceeded 520 before there were actual duplicate questions. Since it’s impossible to properly prepare for every
possible question, what should your approach be?
First, you want to be as prepared as possible to
questions that you can anticipate will be asked. You know the questions: your strengths, your weaknesses, best
boss, worst boss, best job, worse job, biggest achievement, biggest disappointment, overcome biggest obstacle, why
should we hire you, what would you do first if you got the job, biggest influence in your life, and so
Job Interview Preparation Strategy
Write each possible question on a card. It shouldn’t
be a problem researching and pulling together a list of over 50, perhaps over 100 good questions.
Now write your possible answers on the back of the
cards. Role play the interview-video tape the interview if possible. Be sure your answers are concise, your
delivery shows the right level of confidence and not arrogance, and you are engaged in the interview. Look for bad
habits and get rid of them. Keep doing the mock interview until you get it right.
Now let’s look at how you can handle the off the
wall questions. If your first impulse is you have no earthly idea you need some time to form an answer. What do you
do when a friend asks you this type of question? Do the same thing. You might say, “That’s an interesting question.
I’ve never really thought about it. Give me a few seconds to think about it.”
And then spend some time thinking about the
question. It’s no time to panic, and since you’re so well prepared for the rest of the questions the answer will
Answer the Odd Ball Interview Question
Oh the bird question, how about this: “I’ve always
admired the Arctic Tern, it travels up to 22,000 miles annually from the Arctic to Antarctica, and has been know to
live up to 34 years. It has great tenacity and lives a long time just like I’d like to do on this job.”
Or you might answer an off the wall question by
stating, “Let me think out loud about that for a minute.” Then review the possible options and form your answer.
This approach will impress the interviewer showing you are a thoughtful person capable of thinking through a
You will now be poised and able to respond to any
question coming your way, because most of the questions will be about you, and of course you are the world’s expert
on that subject. If you turn the interview into a conversation through your preparations rather that an inquisition
you’ll come across as a thoughtful person fully capable of doing a great job for them.
Learn how others after age 50, planned their way to new careers. Career planning
after 50 will give you a detailed look of the success of others after 50.
In addition, job interviewing
skills are explored in greater detail in this article.