According to the Five O’Clock Club, the days of “So, do you have any questions for us?” are over. Interviewers are getting much more devious in the questions they’re asking candidates to get them thinking outside the box. Sometimes tough interview questions can mean a higher job satisfaction rating later on. Here are some of the hardest interview questions from 2015 and what you might expect in 2016:
1. “How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?”
Questions like this are designed to see how quickly and well you think on your feet. Will you go the long road and try to estimate how many windows there are in all of Seattle? Or fire back a fixed price per window or per hour? Either way, be sure to explain your thought process to your interviewer, as that’s what your interviewer is most interested in hearing.
2. “Explain a database to your eight-year-old nephew.”
This is a Google standby to see if you can translate tech speak into normal-person speak. Especially if you’ll be interacting with clients, it’s crucial to be able to explain what you do in plain English. Keep it short and sweet and clear.
3. “What did you have for breakfast?”
This is a double punch of catching you off-guard and seeing whether you’ll fit in. If it’s a granola crowd and you had bacon-wrapped sausages for breakfast, you might be in trouble. The best strategy is just to be yourself. It’s better to fit in somewhere else than work in a climate that doesn’t suit you.
4. “Describe the color yellow to someone who is blind.”
How creative are you? Are you sensitive? Able to express the abstract and think outside the box? This is a test of your wits and your insight, but if you train yourself to look at things from multiple angles, you’ll be better prepared for this kind of question.
5. “If you sat down at your desk and found 1,000 emails in your inbox but you could answer only 300 of them, how would you choose?”
What are your priorities? How do you triage under fire? Are you organized? Do you have the right sense of what’s important to the company? The best answer is usually that you’d prioritize emails from your biggest client, your boss, or anything super-important or time-sensitive. Everything else can wait.
6. “Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with your manager. How was it resolved?”
This is actually a classic question, but always a good one to prepare for. Don’t bad-mouth anyone, least of all your former boss. Simple give a bit of context, keep your cool, and breeze past it to show that you’re not afraid of conflict, and you’re able to be mature and keep on moving forward.