Surprise Questions in a job interview

In many forms of interview, surprise questions are asked, which don't seem to be job-related. These questions are used as personal profiles by big firms like Google.

They're usually interesting questions, too, so we thought our members should have a look at some of the possibilities.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers, just your personal preferences.

Have you ever owned a pet, and what was it?

If you could be a historical personality, who would it be?

What's your favorite color, and why?

You're lost in a jungle. You have no idea which direction you should travel. What do you do?

What's your idea of your dream home?

If you were telling your life story, what sort of things would you leave out?

What's something about modern media which really annoys you?

Who's your favorite actor or actress, and why?

What's the most useful advice you've ever been given?

Of these people, who do you identify with:

A teacher
A politician
A celebrity
A doctor

These questions are obviously about perspectives. The dream home is an ideal future, the life story question is about your perception of privacy, etc.

This is also a much less superficial approach to employment, and is definitely an improvement on the old method of interviewing, where applicants were to some extent dehumanized by their limited scope to include any personal content in their interviews. There's only so much humanity, let alone personality, you can include in a question about how you organize your work, or deal with competing priorities.

This isn't amateur psychology. Employers hire professionals to figure out a good match between a prospective employee and their workplace society. In some cases, pet owners are a better fit to the workplace than non-pet owners. (In Google's case they found dog owners were good matches to their corporate culture.)

Surprise questions aren't a waste of time, or some sort of blue sky exercise. Answer the questions, say what you think, have fun, and remember you're getting some personal input into your interview.