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How To Answer Surprise Interview Questions

How To Answer Surprise Interview Questions

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Many interviews, whether they are for jobs in IT or jobs in admin, will contain surprise interview questions. Normally, they will be questions about experience and motivation, but that won’t always be the case. Unexpected questions will sometimes be asked to see how someone thinks on their feet, rather than having a prepared response for an expected question.

Testing A Person’s Character

For interviewees who have attended many interviews at similar jobs, for instance, their questions are often ready before the questions are posed. For the prospective employer the answers may reveal a lot about a person’s experience and motivation, but not necessarily much about a person’s character or how they will fit in with fellow employees.

The unexpected question will often take an interviewee by surprise, especially when an interview begins in a stereotypical way. An interviewee will often seem confident when the questions asked are the expected ones, but when something unusual is thrown at him or her the confident exterior will sometimes vanish, and they may become flustered.

On the other hand, the interviewee, who takes even the unexpected in their stride, may well have done enough to have landed the job.

An interviewer may ask questions of a personal nature that revolve around your beliefs, to determine signs of prejudice or unethical views. They may also make an outrageous comment to see how you react. Bearing this in mind, you should always give an honest response.

Unexpected questions are used to test how a person would react to something happening unexpectedly or in an emergency. Something unexpected could be an argument between colleagues or the sudden loss of an important order. An emergency could be a fire breaking out in an office, or someone becoming very ill at work. Employees will sometimes see the unexpected question as a way of determining how an employee would deal with these types of difficult situations.

Be Prepared For The Unexpected

In all aspects of life, quick and more instinctive decisions have to be made, and no amount of qualifications can fully cover unexpected events. The perfect applicant to many employees is someone with knowledge and experience, and who has the ability to be flexible in challenging situations.

Anyone going to an interview should always be prepared, but they should also be relaxed. An interviewee should remember that it’s an interview and not a trial. The calmer the interviewee is the easier they will find it to deal with all the various types of questions asked.

If a question throws you, take your time in answering it, and try and appear unflustered. Always be prepared for the expected questions at an interview, but always be aware of what’s round the corner and take as long as you need to answer. Deliberation is better than giving a quick and inappropriate response.

Try and appear cheerful throughout – even if you feel you have given the wrong response to some interview questions. Your perception of how things are going are often going to be different to the interviewer’s.


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Shane White

Shane White is a contributing author at CAREEREALISM.