Think out of box

If at an interview you are asked strange questions like ‘what do strawberry juice and butter have in common,” don’t panic. Just think of an “out of the box” reply, says Dr K Sampath Kumar.

If at an interview you are asked strange questions like ‘what do strawberry juice and butter have in common,” don’t panic. Just think of an “out of the box” reply, says Dr K Sampath Kumar.

These days, candidates appearing for a job interview face questions which are in fact brain-teasers. The trick is to give up our stubborn thought limitations and "think outside of the box.” Here are some of the typical HR questions that have been asked to find out if the candidates have "out of box" thinking capability

Q 1: "What will you do if I run away with your sister?"

A: “The candidate who was selected answered, "I will not get a better match for my sister than you, sir."

Q 2: Interviewer (to a woman candidate) - What if one morning you woke up and found that you were pregnant?

A. Normally an unmarried girl will be shocked to hear this, but this candidate answered with enthusiasm: “I will be very excited and take a day off, to celebrate with my husband.”
Why should I think it in the wrong way? She said later when asked.

Q 3: Interviewer ordered a cup of coffee for the candidate. Coffee arrived and was kept before the candidate. The interviewer then asked "What is before you?"

Candidate: "Tea" and got selected. (You know how and why did he say "TEA" when he knows very well that it was coffee that was kept before him? Well the question was "What is before you U –the alphabet and hence the reply was "T” also the alphabet.

Q 4: Where Lord Rama would have celebrated his "First Diwali"?

People will start thinking of Ayodhya, Mithila [Sita’s birth place], and Sri Lanka etc...But the logic is, Diwali was a celebrated as a mark of Lord Krishna killing the demon Narakasura. In Dusavataar, Krishnavathaar comes after Raamavathaar. So, Lord Rama would not have celebrated the Diwali at all!

Q. 5: You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. It`s raining heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for a bus:

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die

2. An old friend who once saved your life

3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about. Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that there could only be one passenger in your car?

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application.

  • You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first;
  • Or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to! pay him back.
  • However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again...
  • The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. Guess what was his answer? He simply said:
    "I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams."

    Q 6: The interviewer asked the candidate "This is your last question of the interview. Please tell me the exact position of the centre of this table where you have kept your files."

    Candidate confidently put one of his fingers at some point at the table and said that this was the centre of the table. Interviewer asks, "How did you decide that?" The candidate quickly answers: "Sir you are not supposed to ask any more question, as it was the last question as you promised .....Needless to say that he was selected because of his quick-wit.

    The compiler is a professor at SSN Business School, Chennai

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