Interview questions that could really throw you

When was the last time you took on something you didn’t know how to do?

Have you applied for any jobs or roles that you didn’t get?

Did you try again?

Tell us about something you  tried and resulted in failure.

What failure are you most proud of?  Why?

If you were asked questions like these in a job interview, how would you respond?  Most applicants today prepare themselves to respond to behavioral questions by looking at the job competencies and pulling out their successes.  Questions like these could really throw us for a loop if we are not prepared for them.

What would an interviewer be looking for with these questions?  Here are a few ideas that come to mind:

  • Was this failure experienced as a learning?
  • Does this candidate suffer from perfectionism?
  • What level of determination does this candidate possess?
  • Do we see optimism or pessimism in this person?
  • What is the person’s risk taking tolerance level?
  • What does this tell us about problem solving and innovation skills?
  • Does this person experience a high degree of “fear of failure”?
  • Does this person know how to fail?
  • How does this person handle obstacles?

These questions have the potential to teach us large lessons about ourselves if we take the time to reflect on them.

Have you ever been asked a question in an interview that you were not prepared for?  Let’s hear them!  They would be very instructive for others preparing for interviews.