During an initial phone interview, the hiring manager throws out a random question that seemingly has nothing to do with your skills and qualifications: “Tell me all the ways you could use a brick?”
In all of your interview preparation, you didn’t plan for that one! Think fast, and that is one of the reasons for the question. The interviewer wants to gauge how quickly you think on your feet, in addition to how innovative and creative you can be.
Some hiring managers and recruiters are getting far more creative themselves in their approach to getting to know you. Why the veer away from typical interviews? New York Times writer Adam Bryant explains that taking a non-traditional approach can enable the interviewer to get to know the candidate better in a more relaxed setting. An interview doesn’t have to be an off-site excursion to be more inventive. The questions themselves can make it so.
Most people prepare for interviews with measured and canned responses to tough questions. Such answers don’t always reveal the true personality or strengths of a candidate. Whereas outside-the-box queries may help candidates open up and reveal more of their true selves.
What kind of novel questions does Bryant suggest you could encounter? A few examples include:
- What is your natural strength?
- What kind of animal would you be? And why?
- What qualities of your parents do you like the most?
- What is the biggest misperception people have about you?
You still need to prepare for traditional interview questions to highlight your experience and ability to meet job requirements, but you also need to expect the unexpected. And check out some imaginative uses for a brick in case you ever get that question!