“If you see the yellow light flash, do you slow down or speed up?”
“What did you want to become when you were a kid?”
“What would your room tell you if it could talk?”
These types of job interview questions are referred to as wild card questions. Although they may seem senseless, they serve a particular purpose: they test your ability to react effectively when you are caught off-guard.
How should you tackle a wild card question during a job interview?
Usually, your initial answers are clues to your character and core values, so don’t take your job interview answers for wild card questions lightly. Based on your answers, employers will be able to assess if you and the company share the same values.
For example, if they ask what you would save first if your house is on fire, you’d want to mention things that provide a glimpse into your values that a company may appreciate. If you’re applying as a systems analyst, you could say during the job interview that you’ll save your PC and your kids’ first baby pictures to emphasize the value you place in your IT skills maintaining solid relationships. Employers admire those traits.
It is impossible to anticipate all wild card questions during a job interview. Chances are, you will be caught off-guard. Just remember to use the job position, company values and culture as guides on how you should approach the job interview question. Finally, it is important to be honest. Follow your instincts.
Three Things to Avoid When Job Hunting
Searching for a job can be difficult in these tough times. But keep in mind that there are ways to save time, effort, and money as you go on with your offline or online job hunt. Looking out for grapevine jobs, for instance, is a reliable method that can get you employed.
Here are a few tips and reminders to help you with your job search:
DO NOT send out resumes to any and every company you come across. Handing out unmodified copies of your resume and cover letters to employers will NOT land you a job. Take time to learn about the company and the position you are applying for (whether from the job grapevine or from the employer him/ herself) and customize your resume accordingly.
DO NOT waste your time attending job fairs. Employers in most job fairs don’t take resumes. Ask around from your job hunt network if there are job fairs that are worth attending lest you end up wasting precious time.
DO NOT spend money on unneeded certification programs. Though completing a certification training program may work to your advantage, it would be better to do some research on what employers are looking for.
Remember, study your potential job market seriously, and use resume editor. Shotgun tactics are definitely less effective - be a sniper, and choose your targets carefully.