How to React to “Off-The-Wall” Interview Questions

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=940&q=interview+questions&oq=interview+questions&gs_l=img.3..0l10.62834.65536.0.65846.19.11.0.8.8.0.127.994.8j2.10.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..2.17.948.jjooPUdch_w#imgrc=nelSAY3WvXP-TM%3AAre you preparing yourself for your next interview? Have you gone through your checklist of what to wear, where to go and researched who you’re meeting with? If so, here is one last tip before the big interview… prepare yourself for “off-the-wall” questions.

At every interview, employers go through the basics. They will ask you about your resume, accomplishments and for a list of references. It’s easy to prepare yourself for those kind of questions. You have a game plan of where you want to be in 5 years, you know why you want to work for the company, and hopefully have researched a little something about the person interviewing you. But what if they ask you about something you don’t know though? How do you think you would react?

Interviewers ask questions that may seem completely insane to throw you off balance. They want to put you in a high pressure situation and see if you can think on your feet. One of the most notorious questions that does just that is “How many snow skis in the US were rented last year?” Who could know the answer to that? You! Some of the other candidates may say, “I don’t know, but I can find out.” This isn’t a bad answer, but it also won’t make you stand out. The person sitting in front of you knows that you don’t know how many snow skis are rented in a year, they want to see how you handle a stressful situation. Take a step back and logically process the question. If you can analyze this situation creatively, you are proving you can handle tough situations that are bound to come up in your future job.

So what’s a good answer for this question? Start off by thinking about how many Americans live in the US, so say around 317 million. Now, how many of those people actually ski? Maybe 10%. So around 31,700,000 people ski every year. Then take in consideration that probably half of those people own ski’s – so only 15,850,000 people rent them. You can keep going with this and add in the number of tourists who ski in the US, factor in the weather, tourism – whatever you want! The point isn’t that all of this information is exactly accurate, it’s that you can break down the question and critically think in a practical environment. You aren’t just pulling numbers out of your head or saying “I don’t know”, your actively trying answer the question.

If you thought you were done with your interview prep work, think again. Being able to answer questions like this takes practice, poise and dedication. Employers know this, and being able to answer a question logically (like above) could get you the job over someone else. You can start practicing by brushing up on tough interview questions that you aren’t comfortable with. Get out of your comfort zone and practice handling yourself in an analytical or creative way.

Another great resource to use is a staffing company. TRC Professional Solutions has recruiters who specialize in helping professional candidates find jobs with great clients. They offer resume tips, interview techniques, and will help you prepare for interviews by keeping you on the edge of your seat. Ready to get the interview process rolling? Take a look at TRC Professional Solutions job board and apply today.

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