If you are going into a job interview, chances are good that you have prepared extensively to discuss your experiences in the workforce and your skillset. You are probably ready to nail questions like “What are your strengths” and “How do you handle conflict” However, some questions cannot be prepared beforehand so easily, and these are what hiring managers refer to as wildcard interview questions.
These questions are often along the lines of: “If you could be any animal, which animal would you be and why” There is usually no right or wrong answer to give. Instead, the interviewer is looking to see how you handle the unexpected. There is generally no way to prepare for an off-the-wall question, so interviewers want to see if you can think through the question rationally and come up with a good response. At the end of the day, these questions are an opportunity for you to show off your analytical skills and to have a bit of fun. Interviews can be awfully serious, so if you are able to show off your sense of humor a little bit while still being appropriate for the setting, you will be in a great position to land the job.
Examples of Wildcard Interview Questions
Wildcard interview questions may not be asked during every interview. The following list is certainly not all-inclusive because hiring managers can definitely just come up with their own unique questions that they want to ask. Here are some offbeat questions that have been known to come up in interviews from time to time:
- Who is your hero
- Describe what you were like in high school.
- Tell a joke.
These questions are an opportunity for you to show that you are able to think on your feet, but they are also a chance for you to show off your personality. Saying what kind of animal or fruit you would be says something about your personality. Remember, you are going to be working with the person interviewing you on a frequent basis, so in addition to making sure you possess the required skills they also want to make sure you will be fun to simply hang out with.
How to Answer Wildcard Interview Questions
When answering these types of questions, it is okay to take a few seconds to mull over your response. You will most likely have not thought through which superpowers you would like to have or who would play you in a movie. These questions are an excellent opportunity for you to show off your thinking process and show how you arrive to conclusions.
Something else to keep in mind is to take these questions seriously. You should not laugh or scoff at the questions since the interviewer is still looking for an honest answer. Your professionalism is still being evaluated, so do not appear annoyed or confused by the question either.
One of the most important aspects you should include in your response is relating the question to relevant skills or talents you possess. For example, if you are discussing what superpower you would want to have, you should mention a power that would help you with this specific job. If you are going to be working in a warehouse a lot, it might be advantageous to say that you would want to have super strength so that you could move packages more easily.
As long as your responses are thoughtful, the interviewer will likely be impressed. Talking about what you would do if you won the lottery or what you were like in high school are merely meant to be ways for the interviewer to gather more information about you in a fun and interesting manner.