Why do some companies ask crazy interview questions like: “if you were a car, what kind of car would you be?” or “why are manhole covers round?” They are asked because interviewers want to observe a couple of things:
1 – how comfortable are you with a crazy question – can you think on your feet and not panic?
2 – are you creative? can you say “you’d like to be an oak tree because they are the tallest and the strongest – and your performance will be stronger than any of my peers”
3 – are you fun to be with – can you poke fun at yourself and laugh – If I were a car, I’d be a mini-Cooper because I’m versatile and I can have a checkered roof – which is different, fun and unexpected! Good on gas mileage too – so I watch expenses!
I prefer traditional questions – behavioral questions – because past performance does indicate future performance and success. However, asking an unconventional question like this shows that the candidate is confident enough to have fun and enjoy the interview. Confidence is a huge characteristic that I used to look for in top candidates when I hired for Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Warner-Lambert.
Interviews skills can be improved because you can practice. You can Google traditional interview questions and you can Google non-traditional interview questions. The best candidates will be prepared and are comfortable enough in their own skin to answer any question that comes their way. So don’t get caught being unprepared. Download the comments I made today on NPR by clicking on this link: http://www.thetakeaway.org/people/connie-thanasoulis-cerrachio/