Job interviews can drive some of us to the brink of insanity. Between choosing an outfit and making sure our hair is permed, braided or naturally hooked up, we practice and role play over and over trying to ensure that we can answer whatever question is thrown at us. In a recent survey for Everest College, 15% of employed adult men and women said their biggest fear was being stumped by the employer’s questions. The survey also found that women specifically are most afraid of not being able to answer a specific question (19%).
Most interview questions are harmless. Go ahead and tell them why you are qualified for the job. Take some time to share successes from your previous position. Heck, why not tell them about the time that you took the lead on a project and saw it through completion causing a homerun for the team. Toot your own horn…you deserve it.
This post is not about the average questions. I’m focused on companies who are using strange and outrageous interview questions to figure out who belongs on the team. Sistah Girls beware…you don’t wanna find yourself looking crazy just because you need a new gig. I once interviewed with the marketing team at WE TV (home of hit reality shows Tamar & Vince and Mary Mary) and they asked me to pretend I was a tour guide describing my last vacation spot. I did it and felt ridiculous. It was only later that I realized that they were playing me and that I was never going to be a “good fit” and they knew it. A more informed me would have declined the invitation to “perform” and ended the interview.
Most questions are designed to see if you can think quickly on your feet or if you can think creatively in any situation. As a woman of color, I’m always deeply concerned with how we are portrayed, thought of and categorized so I’m not down with any of the following:
- If you were an animal what would it be? (Asked by Apple)
- If you were a box of cereal what would it be and why? (Asked by Bed Bath and Beyond)
- Are you a hunter or a gatherer? (Asked by Dell)
- What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now. (Asked by Living Social)
- What superhero would you be and would you dress up given the chance? (Asked by Zappos)
Visit www.glassdoor.com to view their extensive list of questions. If you decide to answer any bizarre questions, beware of your reputation after you get the job. Nothing is a secret in the office. You don’t want people singing your favorite song every time you enter the room or leaving boxes of Froot Loops on your desk because they remembered what you said in your interview. On my next interview I hope they ask me, a question like, “Are you a high heel or a pair of loafers?” Wouldn’t you like to hear my answer !?! What would you say?