A former Netflix exec shared his favorite tricky job interview question; we offer advice on how to answer it.
By now, you’ve heard all the typical job interview questions: “Can you tell me a little about yourself?” “What’s your greatest weakness?” “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “Why do you want this job?”
But you probably haven’t heard this curveball question that former Netflix HR executive Greg Silva recently revealed as his favorite to Fast Company: “It’s your first day on the job and you have a few hours to kill before orientation. What would you do with that time?”
Oof. You might feel a little caught off guard with a question like this, but don’t worry! Our career expert, Amanda Augustine, shared some tips with CNBC Make It that’ll help you answer this, and other tricky job interview questions.
1. Understand the interviewer’s motivation
When asked an unusual question like this, the interviewer is usually gauging how you’ll react in certain situations. In this case, they’re looking for someone who is driven and proactive — not someone who’s going to sit around and wait for direction.
“The last thing you want to do is take a long time to answer, respond that you don’t know what you’d do with this time, or admit that you’d probably hang out at your desk and wait to be told what to do next,” Augustine said.
2. Stay calm
A question like this might throw you off. After all, it’s not necessarily one you practiced before walking into the interview. Before you answer, take a deep breath. Not only is the interviewer looking for how you’ll respond in certain situations, they’re also gauging your ability to think on your feet.
3. Get creative and highlight your unique values
Use this tricky interview question as an opportunity to highlight what you will bring to the company. Show the interviewer you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and contribute to the company’s goals — even before you’ve started orientation.
To best prepare for a question like this, think long term. Look past the initial interviewing stage, and instead study the position’s responsibilities and the company’s goals. Show your interviewer you’ve thought further than the job interview and that you’ll bring an entrepreneurial, creative spirit to the team.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be sure to nail any tricky job interview questions!
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