#yousayTuesday – What interview questions have left you stumped?

Interviews can be tough and tricky situations. The employers have you at their mercy and are ready to prod, poke and trip you up to really sift out the best from the rest. Graduates and interviewees are made to feel like they need to be witty raconteurs with their CVs and experiences, making the employers chortle and be blown away by a graduate's charm and sophistication.

The reality can be very different. Graduates are nervous, shivering wrecks who are desperate to impress. However, despite the pressure and peril, it is the unknown which graduates fear the most and the curve ball question which can be thrown to put the graduate totally off kilter.

So for this week's #yousayTuesday we asked you what questions have left you stumped. Which questions have really left you stuck for words and that you were not expecting and brought on the panic sweats. Your response had left field, bizarre questions but worst of all some downright stinkers. However, employers aren't trying to catch you off guard, or trick you into saying something you'd regret just test you.

Interviews in general are trying discover three things over the conversation. Your ability, your enthusiasm and your personality. If you can fulfill these three criteria there is no reason not to give you the job, however someone might be more suited.

There is a school of thought that suggests that the more obscure interview questions are designed to reveal your thought processes and your personality leading to your aptitude for the job. Companies like Google are famed for trying out these techniques with questions like 'Give ten uses for a box of pencils that is not their traditional use.'

The trick with difficult questions like these is trying to walk the line between answering the question and satisfying what the interviewer is trying to get at. While the three or four people the other side of the desk are genuinely not fussed with what they might do with a box of pencils, they are concerned with the graduate has to stay.

Graduates should not get too bogged down by trying to quickly form an answer that will please both sides of the coin. Graduates should, however think quickly about a way that will show the employer a side to them that they think will be attractive as an employee. The employer will know what they are looking for from the question and, unless you are quite unlucky, they will have asked it before and got a few responses.

The best thing to do is to play the game when it comes to these left field questions. If they ask in the middle of an interview 'Tell me a joke', you tell them the best joke you know (as long as it is not too blue) and let them take from it what they want. Panicking under pressure might result in a bodged answer, in this case a lead balloon of a joke, but might also move away from the formalities of the interview situation and show the employer your human side.

Stumper questions from #yousayTuesday

1. Out of all the questions you've answered today, which answer would you change and why?
2. How would the person who likes you the least describe you?
3. What solutions have you put forward that have failed?
4. Why did you dislike your last job?
5. If you were to get this job what would you least look forward to?

Heard any more? Tweet us @graduatejobsUK with the handle #yousayTuesday
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