If you could be any animal… and other interview questions

I recently read an article that stated that the first “employment questionnaire” was devised by Thomas Edison. Yep, THAT Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb and other stuff, also came up with a set of interview questions to help him weed out unsatisfactory candidates. The questions, which included “What war material did Chile export to the Allies during the War?” and “Who was the Roman emperor when Jesus Christ was born?”, wouldn’t be used today, well not as far I know anyway, but you do on occasion get asked some curveball or unexpected questions that can knock your confidence for six. As someone who has been on both sides of the interview table, I have seen what seems to be the most simplest and innocent of questions throw someone completely and not just the “Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?” type of question.  Here’s what a few interviewers have to say…

On the whole, preparation is key for all interviews, but when the unexpected does happen all you can do is take a deep breath and do your best.  It’s not always what you say, its how you’ve handled it that matters.

Personally, the most difficult question I’ve ever had is: “Why do you want this job?”  One or two of my interviews have gone rapidly downhill after being asked this!

We would love to hear of any curveball questions you have been asked?

Who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? Some of the crazy questions posed by employers during job interviews that leave candidates red-faced, Daily Mail article.

For more on interview questions:

USW Careers interviews page
Prospects’ tips on interview questions
Targetjobs’ advice on unexpected interview questions


Sharon (USW Careers)


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