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Ever asked a strange interview question?
Ever go on an interview only to be asked who would play you in a movie or if you were an animal, which one you'd be? While these oddball job interview questions may have you scratching your head, there's actually a method to the madness.
"Interviewers are trying to get behind the facade and learn who the person really is," says Pamela Skillings, co-founder of New York-based job coaching firm Skillful Communications. "Can this person think on his or her feet?"
There is no right answer to outlandish job interview questions, but career experts say you make more of an impression if your answer is unique. "Everyone says 'I would be a lion because I'm so fierce,' but to be memorable, you've got to come up with something other people haven't said," Skillings says.
That doesn't mean you should make something up. After all, you want the interviewer to see the real you. "If you're not a good fit, you don't want to get the position," says Chuck Fried, president and chief executive of TxMQ Inc., a technology staffing company based in Buffalo, N.Y.
With that in mind, here's a look at three categories oddball job interview questions fall into.
Personality questions gauge creativity
Asking what superhero powers you would want to possess seems strange, but that type of inquiry, known as the personality question, is a regular occurrence on job interviews. "Just as common as what are your strengths and weaknesses is 'What do you think of garden gnomes?'" says Samantha Zupan, a spokeswoman at Sausalito, Calif.-based career community Glassdoor.
The personality questions achieve two things: They put you at ease and gauge your creativity, Zupan says. "They want to see the way you think," she says. "If you say something completely off the wall, that is the reason for it."