As you head out to be interviewed for the job you always wanted, you feel the excitement in the air.
The time has finally arrived to secure the job you deserve.
You are confident knowing that you did thorough research on the company and the people it employs.
And you have talking points in mind regarding, the keywords found on the company website, indicating the priorities and goals of the company.
Everything you anticipate proves to be true while on the interview. The office ambiance meets expectations, and the conversation is lively, thought provoking, and encourages belief that you are about to be hired.
The Question Dilemma
Just as comfort sets in, oh no, shock waves take over as you hear the question asked of you: “Would you rather drive an ice cream truck or be a kamikaze pilot?”
What? Is the hiring manager kidding? What does this have to do with the job?
Unfortunately, for many, the question has much to do with the job. The stranger the question, the greater the insight it provides into how you will approach the position, IF hired. “IF” is the operative word that needs to be turned into a positive.
The right approach to the question will give you the distinct advantage over the other applicants. Be aware that selling oneself during interviews is a necessity and, therefore, familiarity with sales strategy is important.
The purpose of curve ball questions is to determine if the candidate possesses creative thought and approach to the position in question.
The ability to back up your choice with sound reasoning and benefits included, as they apply to the job in question, is what is really being asked.
Speaking to reasoning and benefits behind the answer is where the sales strategy comes into play. A sound answer provides a “Yes” checkmark on your behalf.
Understandably, those new to this line of questioning will be thrown off their game. Some applicants resort to showing their frustration, but that only serves to defeat their ultimate purpose for being on the interview.
Connect the Dots
Mindset focused on positive and creative thinking becomes the name of the game.
Take a deep breath and smile while quickly reflecting on the type of job to which you are applying.
Momentarily, consider whether the position will require creativity, adherence to rules, or taking risks. Connect the answer to the role of the position.
Choice Relating to the Job
For example, let’s suppose the applicant is applying to be a business development account manager.
Initially, the thought of being an ice cream truck driver sounds like fun as one delivers treats to children in the neighborhood. But in reality, and after a while, it would become boring for the personality type. There is no adventure, variation, or risk involved, just straightforward delivering of treats, day after day.
On the other hand, the applicant doesn’t want to risk her life for any job.
But, business development requires calling on executives with far more experience, interrupting people at work, and trying to secure business where it it might be seemingly impossible.
To a large degree, the job is about being persistent, think-skinned and also taking risk.
A True Story and Solution
This situation is a true story and question was actually asked of a job seeker (Charlene).
Given Charlene was applying to be the business development account manager, she answered that her preference was to be a kamikaze pilot. Her reasoning directly related to the job.
The reality was Charlene would have to deal with the unknown, day after day, trying to sell a cutting-edge product to a clientele that did not yet exist. Risk was plentiful and she was excited to take it on. So with pride, Charlene announced to the hiring manager, “Kamikaze pilot” to be her answer.
Within 24 hours Charlene was hired. The first day on the job, she heard her new sales manager say, “I don’t know whether to be thrilled to pieces you are on my time, or scared to death of you!”