More and more candidates are applying for jobs. Sometimes hundreds of resumes are received for a single job opening. And to help differentiate candidates and see who stands out from the pack, recruiters are asking some unique questions .

Don’t let strange questions throw you off your game.

Recruiters may not be looking for a specific answer when they ask you tough questions, but they’re likely looking to see how you respond to a challenge. Here are three ways you can come out on top:

1. Know your stuff. Most candidates can give a basic overview of the company for which they’re applying. But to truly assess interest and preparation skills, some employers are asking in-depth questions about the company, its history and even its accomplishments – all of which are typically available easily on the internet. As company websites become increasingly comprehensive, you have no excuse not to be completely prepared for this type of question! Before your interview, review the company’s website, do a quick Google search for the latest company news and prepare some notes or key points you think will come in handy during an interview.

2. Slow down! There are very few interviews we know of that consist of a race, so don’t rush. If you don’t know the answer to a question, take a few moments and think through the question. Your reaction to a truly puzzling question may be of more interest to the recruiter than your actual answer, so slow down, think it through and give a thoughtful response (and explanation of your conclusion) to the question – even if you don’t actually “know” the answer!

3. Don’t ask them to clarify the question. The interviewer gave you the information he or she felt you needed to answer a question. Asking for more information or clarification can give the impression that you don’t want to figure out the answer for yourself, and that you’re looking for an easy way out. Not the best way to make a positive impression! Just as we mentioned in #2, think through the question and share your thought process with the interviewer. Your approach and thoughtfulness will give the interviewer the information he or she needs to make a careful hiring decision.

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