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Surprise Interview Questions: They'll Get You Every Time

Many interviews, whether they are for jobs in IT or jobs in admin, will contain surprise interview questions. Normally, they will be questions about experience and motivation, but that won’t always be the case. Unexpected questions will sometimes be asked to see how someone thinks on their feet, rather than having a prepared response for an expected question.

Surprise interview questions

Testing A Person’s Character

For the prospective employer, your answers may reveal a lot about your experience and motivation, but not necessarily much about your character or how you will fit in with fellow employees. Expect a question about character.

The unexpected question will often take an interviewee by surprise, especially when an interview begins in a stereotypical way. An interviewee will often seem confident when the questions asked are the expected ones, but when something unusual is thrown at him or her the confident exterior will sometimes vanish, and they may become flustered.

An interviewer may ask questions of a personal nature that revolve around your beliefs, to determine signs of prejudice or unethical views. They may also make an outrageous comment to see how you react. Bearing this in mind, you should always give an honest response.

For anyone planning on doing an internship in China or elsewhere around the world, be prepared for unexpected questions directly related to China, a Chinese work environment and/or Chinese culture. After all, if you want to work in China  even on the short term, you should know a thing or two about the place. No employer expects you to be a China expert, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be thrown a curve ball.

Be Prepared For The Unexpected

In all aspects of life, quick and more instinctive decisions have to be made, and no amount of qualifications can fully cover unexpected events. The perfect applicant to many employees is someone with knowledge and experience, and who has the ability to be flexible in challenging situations.

Anyone going to an interview should always be prepared, but they should also be relaxed. An interviewee should remember that it’s an interview and not a trial. The calmer the interviewee is the easier they will find it to deal with all the various types of questions asked.

If a question throws you, take your time in answering it, and try and appear unflustered. Don’t blab on and on aimlessly. Always be prepared for the expected questions at an interview, but always be aware of what’s round the corner and take as long as you need to answer. Deliberation is better than giving a quick and inappropriate response.

Try and appear cheerful throughout – even if you feel you have given the wrong response to some interview questions. Your perception of how things are going are often going to be different to the interviewer’s. If you think you’ve answered wrong and it shows on your face, the employer will notice right away. So speak with confidence and don’t let doubt creep up on you. Speaking with confidence goes a long way and will ultimately be the factor as to whether or not you get the job.

If wish to intern in China, a country with a different set of values and culture, you could face a question or two related to how you would handle those differences should they arise in the work environment. Be prepared. The best answer would is one where you acknowledge that a difference in values and culture exists and that you would work toward resolving the issue in a respectful manner.
Intern Testimonial: Alex Shishkin
Intern Update: Tom James

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