Massimo`s Ice-Cream. Photo Geoff Potter / Noosa News
Massimo`s Ice-Cream. Photo Geoff Potter / Noosa News Geoff Potter

Bizzare questions throw jobseekers off

IF YOU were a fruit or vegetable what would you be, and why?

Believe it or not that is the type of question jobseekers are being asked during an interview.

A survey of 2000 people by the Association of Accounting Technicians revealed that among the more bizarre questions asked included how would you get a hippo out of a hole or do you like to sing in the shower?

But what do the answers to these strange questions reveal to your prospective employer?

CQUniversity human resource management lecturer Linda Colley believed the questions were designed to catch an interviewee off guard but did not reveal much.

"I don't think it tells you much about a person except how they cope with surprise," Dr Colley said.

"If you're applying for a job as a flight attendant then you may be asked a range of bizarre questions on the plane, so it may be applicable there," she said.

"It's great to put people on the spot in an interview but there are ways to do it that are relevant to the job."

The survey showed 30% of those interviewed had given awkward or cringe-worthy answers after being asked difficult questions, with "what are your weaknesses?" named as the question most likely to leave people struggling with a response.

"Try find a weakness that doesn't make you look too bad," Dr Colley said.

"You're never going to say 'I'm really bad with time management' or 'I'm really bad with people'."

Dr Colley said another much-hated question was where you saw yourself in five years.

"Think up a better answer than 'I will be retired and living on a beach'," she said.

Dr Colley said employers had moved on from asking questions about an employee's marital status.

"In Australia it's not lawful to ask questions about someone's marital status unless it's actually relevant to the job," she said.

"Thankfully, we moved on from the '80s where women were asked if they were on the pill."

Dr Colley said jobseekers could prepare for their interview by researching the company, showing an awareness of their strengths and asking questions during the interview.

"That can show you're thinking long-term and it tells them a lot about you as a person," she said.


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