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On her second round of interviews for an editorial job in Chicago, Jess Wangsness was asked: If you could be a giraffe without a neck or an elephant without a trunk, which would you choose and why?
"Even though none of it had anything to do with the job, we had a fairly animated conversation about elephant behavior," Ms. Wangsness says. She didn't get the job but still wonders about the question. "Perhaps employers simply like to gauge just how interesting their candidates really are?" she says.
Regardless of how offbeat some interview questions may sound, most employers have their own hidden reasons for asking them. Usually, such queries are a way to uncover information about you that standard interview questions don't suss out. And whether the goal is to gauge your leadership aptitude or test your ability to handle stress, experts say you should stay composed and answer concisely.
The way you react to a question or work through an answer can actually score more points with the interviewer than the answer you give.