Most job interviews are extremely formal and stressful affairs. In my opinion, it isn’t good for anyone. Stressed job candidates will hardly show their full potential, and hiring managers can easily screen out the best, ending up hiring someone who will leave the company within the next three months. One of the ways of easing the tension is asking a funny question, something only half-serious. To break the ice, and help the job seekers calm down. Questions about your “superpowers” belongs to this group of questions.
What’s more, it isn’t a typical interview question, and most people won’t prepare for it in advance. Their answers will be spontaneous, and will show something about their character… But what superpowers should you refer to to make a good impression on the hiring managers, to say the right thing? It is not as difficult as it seems, and you actually have many options here. Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question–including conventional, unconventional, and funny answers. Below the answers I explain a couple of points you should keep on your mind while answering this one. Do not forget to check them out as well.
7 sample answers to “What is your superpower?” interview question
- My superpower is extrasensory perception. Without needing to hear a single word from my manager, I know exactly what they expect me to do, what results I should deliver–and I will deliver them. And when a colleague doesn’t feel good, or experiences some emotional issues, I am attracted to them like an iron to a magnet, and will talk to them, cheer them up, encourage them, and simply help them get back to their best. Without a doubt my former colleagues would confirm my words.
- My colleagues in my last job thought I had a superpower of bilocation. Because I always seemed to get twice as much done, and had many interesting things going on in my life outside of work as well. And though it would be amazing to bilocate–imagine sitting at your desk, working, and at the same time having a strawberry ice cream on a park bench, I must confess that I do not have the superpower. But I can plan my day better than most people, and I can easily eliminate all distractions at work. As a result I typically manage to get done more than my colleagues, and some cannot explain it in any other way than attributing it to my super-human power of bilocation.
- Well, I can get invisible sometimes. Especially when I mess something up, or prefer to remain a spectator in a tense team meeting. I suppress my ego, and sit quietly, letting big egos of my colleagues clash and flourish, while I remain a mere observer to the conflict. Sometimes they even forget that I am in the room, which in fact means that I get invisible to their eyes. Though I am aware of some minuses this superpower has, I enjoy disappearing at times, especially when I find the conflict pointless, and showing my presence in any way would only pour more oil into the fire.
* Do not forget to check also: Answers to 15 most common interview questions.
- It is time travel. I actually came here from the 19th century, a dark age. I wanted to quit the difficulties and invented the time machine. But I wish I could return back to the 19th century, because I find the 21st century even worse. Most people lost their ability to think critically, and won’t be able to leave their home without a smartphone. They are just tools in the hands of technocracy, walking zombies or robots. And the future does not look much brighter to me, with the pandemic, and the irrational measures countries applied to protect the spread of the virus. Actually every day after work I am working on a new time machine in my secret laboratory, because I want to return back to the 19th century. But I have to eat and pay rent, that’s why I try to get this job with you. If you hire me, I promise you to take you away from here once the time machine is ready.
- I must disappoint you, but I have no superpowers. All my life I’ve been relying on hard work, discipline, and trying to become the best version of myself, within the limitations of a human body and mind. I think I haven’t fared badly, but I am aware that this process has no end. I have to continue working on my strengths. And that’s exactly the plan. Though I have no superpowers, I will no doubt surprise you with superior results at work.
- Actually I am an expert in hypnosis. You have probably not realized it yet, but in reality I am writing the script of this interview. In your view, it seems like you are asking me questions and I am giving you the answers. But in reality I know exactly what you want to ask, and what you want to hear from me. Now that you are aware of my superpower, I suggest to speed things up. Just give me the employment agreement with 100K annual salary to sign, and we can both go home, and meet here on the 1st next month. It will happen anyway, so there’s no need to prolong this interview. Do you agree?
- You are the first person I am telling this to, but I can actually fly. And it is the best form of mental relax. Once the city falls asleep, I spread my arms, jump out of the window and rise to the sky. It is not as difficult as most people thing–you just have to believe into your abilities, and then everything is possible. Let’s make a deal: if you hire me today, I will teach you how to fly. Sure enough no other candidate can offer you a similar deal…
* May also interest you: How to dress for an interview? 5 things to consider when choosing your interview attire.
Sense of humor is welcome in every workplace
Hiring managers realize that a good joke, once in a while, will only help a healthy atmosphere in the workplace. Now it doesn’t mean that employees should joke around and spend all their days laughing. Not at all… But telling a good joke or explaining a situation in a funny way a couple of times a day will only help to ease the tension, and improve the productivity of everyone in the team.
Do not hesitate to answer a funny question with a funny answer. You should definitely remain serious most of the time in the interviews, but this question is your opportunity to break the ice, and show them that you are a grate colleague to have around in the workplace.
* Special Tip: This isn’t the only tricky question you will face while interviewing for any decent job. You will face questions about prioritization, dealing with pressure, dealing with ambiguity, and other intriguing scenarios that happen in the workplace. If you want to make sure that you stand out with your answers and outclass your competitors, have a look at our Interview Success Package. Up to 10 premium answers to 31 tricky scenario based questions (+ more) will make your life much easier in the interviews. Thank you for checking it out!
“Superpowers” can help you point out your real strengths
Have a look at sample answers no. 1, 2, and 3 on my list. In each of them the candidate picks a superpower (extrasensory perception, bilocation, invisibility), but eventually talk about real human strengths and abilities.
Extraordinary perception turns to strong empathy and emotional intelligence, bilocation eventually happens to be excellent planning, time management, and focus, and invisibility is in fact an ability to liberate oneself from ego, and do not participate in pointless conflicts and ego-boasting activities, which are present in every workplace… In my opinion these are the best answers to any question about your superpowers, including “If you had a superpower, what would it be?”
Unconventional answer is a risk which can pay off in certain scenarios
Check answers no. 4, 6, and 7 on my list. Here the candidates go really off the charts. One talks about time travel and criticizes 21st century, and the “robotic nature” of today’s corporate force. Another one even claims that they’ve hypnotized the hiring manager, and are in fact leading the interviews, without the other party realizing anything. And the last one goes without comment :).
These answers may seem strange to you, but in some cases–and this is something not many people realize–your main goal is to stand out, to be the one the hiring managers remember at the end of the day, when they are summarizing the interviews, and deciding who moves to the next round, or gets the job. One or two unconventional answers (from 15-20 questions they ask you) can only help you in this sense, especially when they offer some food for thought for the interviewers…
Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions:
- Describe a situation when you wished you’d acted differently.
- What makes you unique?
- How did you prepare for this interview?