You get to the interview; you’re dressed smart and you look clean and crisp. You’ve researched interview questions, you’ve practised your answers, you’re nervous and, ultimately, you really want the job.

You think the interview is going well, you’re answering the questions, it’s flowing and you’re hopeful.

But then, the interviewer throws in a curveball question, something along the lines of ‘If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?’

What? Cereal… Box… What? You panic a little bit, because not only is your mind racing through which cereal you would be and why but also because you want it to be the right answer. But, guess what? There isn’t even a right answer.

Why do companies ask such bizarre questions and what do they aim to learn from it?

Well, some aim to learn about your personality and understand how you perceive yourself, obviously a good way to do this is for you to liken yourself to cereal, matching your strengths and weaknesses to a box of Golden Nuggets, or whatever it is that you align with.

So how do you answer when you’re in there without panicking?

Preparation for overall interview questions is a great way to minimise your risk of stumbling at a curveball question, if you’re feeling confident and certain you’re probably less likely to be thrown when you’re asked.

Don’t be afraid to take a breath to calm yourself, it’s an odd question, the interviewer is expecting you will need to think about it. Consider the job you’re applying for; can you relate your answer in some way to the role?

Finally, if you’re truly stumped, be calm and suggest you come back to it, or answer the question after the interview in your follow up. Dealing with the situation in a collected way, even if you haven’t answered the question, shows that you’re able to deal with unexpected situations.

We decided to ask some of the weird questions throughout our office to judge how differently everyone chose to approach them:

“If You Could Have Dinner with Someone Famous That is No Longer Living, Who Would You Ask and Why?

“If You Were a Fruit, What Kind Would You Be and Why?”

“How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?”

And these are some of the answers from throughout the office:

“If You Could Have Dinner with Someone Famous That is No Longer Living, Who Would You Ask and Why?”

“Steve Ballesteros (Golfer) – He was an extremely flamboyant and talented golfer, I would like to find out what really goes on in that brain of his.”

“Johnny Cash. Being the bad boy of Country would give us plenty to chat about but I’d ultimately get the guitar out and have a sing-song!”

“If You Were a Fruit, What Kind Would You Be and Why?”

“Dragon fruit as they are different and interesting. “

“Banana – useful in so many ways”

“How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?”

“I would charge people money for it.”

“for a profit.”

“I would sell it normally, people in Florida love hot drinks just as much as anywhere else, just because the climate is hot doesn’t mean it would be hard to sell”

Everyone answering very differently giving an insight into their personalities, some answers perhaps offering a better insight than others. Could you use these questions as a basis for deciding a cultural fit and do they offer an insight to the person?

Are there any curveball questions that you’ve been asked?