Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University's business school, says off-the-beaten-path questions during the hiring process are a new trend.
"While we've all heard stories of the Microsoft interview questions (why is a manhole cover round? etc.)," says Sarikas, "more employers are using non-standard questions in their interviews." The question a job candidate might ask in return, of course, is why do you want to know? Sarikas says many of you do it because you want to see how well potential employees think on their feet. There's no wrong answer to many of these seemingly odd questions, but, she explains, "they clearly demonstrate quick thinking, poise, creativity, and even a sense of humor."
Here, Katharine Hansen, Ph.D., creative director and associate publisher of Quintessential Careers, offers some interview "gems" that employers are using today, including some that might even be in use—or coming soon—at your company:
- If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?
- If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
- If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
- If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
- If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
- If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do with the time?
- In the news story of your life, what would the headline say?