“At some point during this interview, I’m going to ask a particular question. Your answer will be the largest factor in determining whether or not you get this job.”
30 nerve-racking minutes later…
“Now comes the question I mentioned earlier. Tell me something you’ve never told anybody before”.
What would you say?
Getting caught in a lie is a virtually guaranteed rejection. But any honest answer is likely to be something that will reflect badly.
This brain-tangler was encountered by a client, interviewing for a senior position at a famous software company. He declined to answer; saying that, although he enjoyed chatting with the interviewer, they had only just met and he didn’t feel close enough to disclose secrets. It was a fair response which showed courage and integrity. He was offered the job.
He later discovered that this was a favourite tactic of the interviewer, who would regularly see senior candidates break down in tears, confide their deepest secrets, and even confess to crimes.
The purpose of leftfield questions is precisely what it looks like – to be outrageous.
Interviewers want to see the real person – the one they’ll work with every day. So, questions must be unexpected enough to shove even the most prepped and polished candidate outside their comfort zone.
The ideal response is not to get thrown by looking for the ‘right answer’, but to be honest, to demonstrate how you think and to let your personality show.
Like our advice? Hear even more at one of our events:
An event was hosted my Natwest called Growing inclusive leadership in Tech. The topic addressed was ‘Key ways to create a positive company culture’
We had the pleasure to co-organise a roundtable breakfast discussion with Learnitect. The topic for the day – Recruiting and Empowering Top Performers
On Thursday 28th September, movemeon and On Purpose hosted an event for consultants and ex-consultants interested in building socially impactful careers. We were joined by Parita Doshi, Seigo Robinson, Sophie Runcorn and Jeroen Sabbe. These are 5 of the evening’s top tips