Off Guard Interview Questions

What are the interview questions that have caught you “off guard”?  Two years ago, I enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces and went through their aptitude and fitness testing. The most challenging component to this training was the personal interview with a rather fierce looking high ranking soldier.

What was difficult for me then is the now a interview norm. So many companies and organizations are using the same type of questions this sergeant did. It seems that questions on past behaviours and situations are very common. As I have learned in my Continuing Education courses, these questions can be used to determine future behaviours. “Can you describe a time that you were under stress and had to make a decision for everyone’s best interest? How did you react and what was the outcome?”

My favourite is “Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult co-worker who wasn’t pulling their own weight?” Reflecting on your past work experiences and preparing yourself for questions like these is just as important as researching the company that you are having the interview with. Being self aware and having the ability to creatively rephrase any negative experiences into positive ones are key factors in having a successful interview.

Which interview questions have taken you by surprise?

Off guard interview questions

Which job interview questions have thrown you for a loop?

Natalia Rosa is a Continuing Education Student currently studying within the Career Consultant Certificate Program at Mohawk College. MCACES offers a comprehensive Employment Advisement program for our students. For more information about Employment Advisement, please visit the MCACES website, or contact Lidia Siino, Employment & Communications Specialist at


2 thoughts on “Off Guard Interview Questions

  1. tkvrba says:

    I was once asked to describe a time where I made a mistake and how I dealt with that. Obviously they wanted to know how I took responsibility and mended the problem as best I could. All the same, I still had to tell them that I made a mistake once. I responded, but I wasn’t sure if I should have chosen the smallest mistake or the biggest mistake I could think of.

  2. To this very day, my all time favorite question was asked by a director in a panel interview: “Where do you see yourself in this company 5 years from now?” Without batting an eyelid I replied: “I see myself becoming the director of this department.”. I heard a pin drop several times in the one minute of silence that followed.Two days later I was hired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s