Many a recruiter fails in a job interview. After all, it's about really getting to the heart of the applicant. So that you don't just glow from the film of sweat on your forehead, it can be helpful to know the following 20 most unusual questions.

job interview

There are many questions that make applicants sweat. Photo: ©pixabay

The job of your dreams is within your grasp. 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 aim is to find out whether the applicant is suitable for a vacant position.

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

January is the peak time for job applications and preparations for interviews. According to the experts, jobseekers apply for jobs 15 per cent more often at the beginning of the year than in other months. Tricky questions in a job interview

If the interview gets too colourful, cancel it

Before we reveal the 20 most unusual questions from the expert portal, here is a reminder to all applicants: If the questions are too inappropriate or discriminatory, the applicant should stop the interview. In addition, since the General Equal Treatment Act came into force, questions about a possible pregnancy, for example, are not acceptable. Personal questions can also 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 into trouble.

Let's start with the questions about personality:

  • What would be the title of your autobiography?
  • If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?
  • Do you work to live or do you 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? Tricky questions in a job interview
  • 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 pm?
  • How much money is made from reusable chopsticks in Japan every year?
  • How many jewels are buried on the beach in Nice?
  • How can you test whether an automatic light in the bathroom really goes out when the door is closed?

The test may then end with the following behavioural questions:

  • What 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 had already bought your tickets?
  • Would you call the boss if you discovered errors in the product on a day off?
  • What's the craziest thing you've ever done? Tricky questions in a job interview

To ensure that the applicants' foreheads don't just glow with sweat when they answer, the catalogue of questions listed can be used to come up with a creative answer in advance. And if you have memorised the wrong answer, it is important to simply be authentic and honest. After all, the playful request for information is ultimately just another attempt to find out your strengths and weaknesses. They are asked by recruiters because they often don't get an authentic answer to the direct question.

Applicants have to master a balancing act here. On the one hand, candidates must emphasise their personality and are welcome to show humour 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 live to work?" the desired answer is now ambiguous. In the age of the "new way of working" and mindfulness, job seekers can certainly state clearly that life is more important to them. In doing so, they confidently show where their priorities lie. As long as they make it clear that they are motivated to make an effort, this is no longer a knock-out criterion.

Estimation questions often involve a so-called Fermi problem. As a rule, you are asked to provide a quantitative estimate without an existing database. There is rarely a right or wrong answer. It is much more important to guide the interviewer step by step through their own thought process and to state the assumptions that lead to the result.

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