Many a recruiter fails in the interview. After all, it's all about really getting to the core of the applicant. In order to not only glow from the film of sweat on your forehead, it can be helpful to know the following 20 most unusual questions.


With many a question, recruiters make the applicant sweat. Photo: ©pixabay


The job of your dreams is within reach. Now it's just a matter of passing the personal interview. And that goes well at first. But after the usual small talk and a few standard questions, the recruiter suddenly reaches into his bag of tricks and comes up with one or two unusual questions. After all, the point is to find out whether the applicant is suitable for a vacant position.

According to the job and recruiting platform, this is not uncommon, as a recent evaluation of job interviews shows. According to the report, recruiters get particularly creative when they ask questions about their own personality and behavior in unusual situations and come up with tricky consulting questions.

January is the peak time for job applications and preparations for interviews. According to the experts, job seekers apply 15 percent more often at the beginning of the year than in other months.

If things get too colorful in the interview, break it off

Before we reveal the 20 most unusual questions from the expert portal, here's a reminder to all applicants: If the questions become too inappropriate or discriminatory, the applicant should stop the interview. In addition, since the General Equal Treatment Act belongs, for example, the question about a possible pregnancy. In addition, personal questions can quickly degenerate into discrimination. In this case, applicants should at least refrain from commenting on the content.

But not every request for information is unfair. To be prepared for an upcoming interview, here are the acceptable but unusual questions that can get an applicant in trouble.

Let's start with the personality questions:

  • What would be the title of your autobiography?
  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?
  • Do you work to live or live to work?
  • Do you consider your work to be art or science?
  • What toys did you play with as a child?
  • What would be a reason why we wouldn't take you?
  • What would your girlfriend like to change about you?
  • Where do you see yourself in 30 years?
  • What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
  • What would be your dream job if you could choose one?

We now come to the estimation questions:

  • What is the probability that humanity will encounter extraterrestrial life?
  • How many degrees are there between the minute hand and the hour hand when it is 3:15 p.m.?
  • How much money is made annually in Japan from reusable chopsticks?
  • How many jewels are buried on the beach of Nice?
  • How can you test if an automatic light in the bathroom really goes off with the door closed?

The test may then end with the following behavioral questions:

  • Which is more important, disagreement or consensus?
  • Would you describe yourself as spontaneous and humorous? (Answer: Yes) Then tell a joke.
  • What would you do if you were stood up in front of the cinema but you had already bought the tickets?
  • Would you call the boss if you discovered defects in the product on a day off?
  • What's the craziest thing you've ever done?

To ensure that the applicants' foreheads are not just glistening with sweat when they answer, the listed list of questions can be used to come up with a creative answer in advance. And if you've memorized the wrong answer, it's important to simply be authentic and honest. After all, the playful request for information is ultimately just another attempt to find out strengths and weaknesses. Recruiters ask them because they often don't get an authentic answer to the direct question.

Here, the applicant must master a balancing act. Because on the one hand, candidates must emphasize their personality and are also welcome to show humor and creativity. On the other hand, job seekers should be aware that they are still in a professional application situation and should not become too private and talkative. But even to questions like "Do you work to live, or do you live to work?" the desired answer is now ambiguous. In the age of the "new way of working" and mindfulness, job seekers can certainly clearly state that life is more important to them. In doing so, they confidently demonstrate where their priorities lie. As long as they make it clear that they are motivated to make an effort, this is no longer a knockout criterion.

Estimation questions often involve a so-called Fermi problem. Usually you are asked to give a quantitative estimate without an existing database. Rarely is there a right or wrong answer. It is much more important to guide the interlocutor step by step through his own train of thought and to state the assumptions that lead to the result.


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