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by Rob Porter | November 13, 2023


We talk a lot about how to prepare for job interviews, common questions you might be asked, and how to help make yourself stand out among the other candidates, but there’s always more ground to cover. Today we’re going to talk about some unconventional and unusual interview techniques that you might come across during your job search. Let’s begin.

Product-Specific Questions

This first entry isn’t too unusual, but in certain cases an interviewer might ask a candidate to provide very specific details about a product or service. Once again, your trusty research will come in handy in this situation, so make sure you learn as much as you can about a company’s offerings before you show up to your interview.

Most companies feature product landing pages on their websites, which is a great place to start. For technical products, be on the lookout for any downloadable spec sheets as they can provide important details about a product’s use and functions. To take it a step further, look at product reviews on Amazon or other retailers’ websites.

Pop Quiz

Depending on your chosen field, you might be asked to take part in an impromptu test of sorts. Such tests are typically reserved for those who work in technical positions, but they may also apply to those in the creative field. Keep in mind that depending on the company you could be notified of a test beforehand, or it could be a real pop quiz situation, so stay sharp.

When a company asks you to take a test during the hiring process, it’s not only trying to determine your level of skill, but it’s looking to see how you react to and deal with surprises. Keep your cool and do your best to approach the situation with confidence. Even if you don’t absolutely ace the test, the hiring manager will take note of your ability to adapt, which will help your chances at landing the job.

Tough Questions

When preparing for an interview, you might study your resume, practice talking about your work history, or perhaps even conduct some practice interviews, but there’s a good chance you’ll be caught off guard if the interviewer asks you to provide an honest critique of the company you’re interviewing for.

Yes friends, in certain rare cases the interviewer might ask you some tough questions that are designed to test your honesty and emotional intelligence. They might ask you to rate their interview tactics, or describe any aspects of the company that you think could be improved. It’s important that you answer such questions honestly, but don’t go overboard and outright bash the company—keep it light, and speak from a place of positivity and confidence.

Hypothetical Scenarios

A particularly creative interviewer might ask you to provide solutions to imaginary problems. These could be real-world problems relating to the role at hand, such as how to improve a process or deal with a common customer complaint. They could also be more fantastical in nature, with the interviewer asking you to choose from a selection of super powers—yes, seriously.

The point of this exercise is to measure a candidate’s knowledge and personality attributes, including their morals, values, courage, strengths, and weaknesses, among others. If you’re ever faced with one of these hypothetical scenarios during an interview, be honest with yourself and the interviewer, and provide a solution or answer that most closely aligns with your unique personality and work experience.

Video Introduction

Companies that have a large number of candidates to interview might ask applicants to submit a short video prior to the interview process. Typically, applicants are asked to provide a short introduction, and answer a set of questions. The company will then review each applicant’s video and determine who will move on to the interview process.

For a lot of people, hearing their own voice on a recording can be scary, so it’s understandable that taking and submitting a video during the hiring process might put off some applicants. If you’ve been tasked with creating a video introduction, simply completing and submitting the video will automatically set you apart from any other applicants who decided to chicken out. The point is it takes guts, so take the chance and do your best.


You read that right. Certain companies like to know that their employees have a sense of humor, or that they can take things in stride. To this end, an interviewer might ask you to tell them a joke during the interview. Keep it professional, and choose a joke that’s appropriate for the situation. If you’re ever asked to tell a joke during an interview and you’re able to fire one off without hesitation, the interviewer will be impressed, and you’ll be far more memorable.

The bottom line is that when it comes to interviewing, you should be ready for just about anything. Despite all your preparations and practice, you might yet get caught off guard by an unusual interview technique, so learning how to keep your cool and go with the flow is paramount to your success.