Stop Rehearsing: Brand New Interview Questions

January 6th, 2011 | Interviewing | No Comments »


Bad news: Employers are catching onto the fact that a typical candidate is bombarded with job interview advice from all over the Internet. They’ve read the “typical interview questions” lists that you’ve so diligently memorized answers for, and now they’re changing it up.

But before you panic, we’re here to tell you that you can still have a great interview. The motivation behind spicing up the interview is to get a better insight into the real you. But, those typical interview questions of the past were asked for a reason: they’re the things that indicate whether or not you’d be a good candidate for the job.

Therefore, the best way for interviewers to get the same information from a more realistic perspective is to ask the same type of question but in a more unique way to throw you and your rehearsed answers off. Below are some examples so you can prepare for your next interview.

Typical Question: What are your weaknesses?
More Unique Question: How are you constantly improving your work performance?
Here, they presume your weaknesses are work-related and that you’re striving to overcome them to throw you off and dig deeper.

Typical Question: Are you a team player? or Do you work well with coworkers?
More Unique Question: How do you deal with conflict in a team situation?
Since some level of conflict is inevitable in a team, they are pushing you further to find out how you work as a team member.

Typical Question: What are your 3-5 year goals? or Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
More Unique Question: What 3 goals have you achieved in the past year?
A truly goal-oriented person won’t have to think too hard about this new question even if they weren’t prepared for it.

Typical Question: What motivates you?
More Unique Question: What did you find most rewarding in your previous position?
They’re still asking about motivation, but are giving it a more applicable, realistic context.

Typical Question: What’s your workplace personality?
More Unique Question: What kind of work environment do you prefer?
People typically prefer to work in an environment that reflects their personality, so your answer will provide them with a more honest perspective of your personality.

Other Unique Questions:
“What risks have you taken in previous positions?”
“What could your previous company do to be more successful?”
“What is the first thing you’ll do in this position?”

Bizarre Questions:
These questions give interviewers insight into your creativity and ability to think on your feet and outside the box:
“How many gas stations are there in the US?”
“What was the last book you read?”

Clare Saumell – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis

Related Links

Interview questions to prepare for
The most important interview question: “Do you have any questions for me?”
Interviews: How to be un-stump-able!