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Prepare for Offbeat Interview Questions

February 6, 2013 | Alberta

When most people enter an interview, they're ready to tackle questions their past work experience, education or how their personal strengths can help a company succeed. What they probably aren't expecting is a request to perform their favorite song - but in these recent times, they should be on their guard and ready to answer anything. 

These kind of unforeseen questions are becoming increasingly common in job interviews. Employers are curious as to how an individual's personality meshes with the company culture, and they also want to know what kind of practical knowledge someone is bringing to the table. As a result, questions asking a prospective worker to name three previous Nobel Prize winners are just as possible as inquiries regarding songs that describe work ethic, and students need to be poised to handle whatever gets thrown their way. 

"It's their way of figuring out how you solve a tough problem," Gayle Laakmann McDowell, author of "Cracking the Coding Interview," told USA Today. "... They want a candidate who sees a tough challenge and says, 'OK, I can do that.'" 

According to Glassdoor, one in five employees plan to look for a new job in the next three months, meaning that there will be more openings employers will have to fill. Students should be ready to swoop in and land some of these highly sought after positions, and those eager to enter the technology industry should be ready to answer some unique interview questions before they can launch their careers. 

The only answer that should really be avoided is "I don't know." Off-the-wall questions are meant to throw a job seeker off in order to get an honest and revealing answer, so don't be afraid to take your time and think out loud. Embrace creativity as well - many help desk jobs will require workers to think on their feet and deal with scenarios that can fall outside of the norm, so showcasing an original response can be beneficial. 

It also may be a good idea to brush up on some current events and practical knowledge before the interview. That way, if any questions regarding the news or current affairs come up, the answers will be at the ready. 

Students can prepare for a career in IT support by enrolling in technology training courses at CDI College. To find out more information on the Help Desk Analyst program or other IT programs, fill out the form on the right.

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