Think Quick! Ten Off-the-Wall Job Interview Questions
The term “interview” can evoke several emotions in a person; some positive and some negative. Although a candidate may be excited about the job opportunity, a great deal of time is often required to properly prepare for an interview.
Interview preparation usually includes: researching the company, studying the job description, practicing interview questions, and creating questions to ask the interviewer at the end of the interview.
Despite the time and effort that goes into preparing, most job seekers are not fans of interviews; more specifically they are not fans of interview questions. It seems that it isn’t just the trick questions that job seekers dread; they also dread even the most common interview questions.
Over the last few years organizations have started ditching some of the more common job interview questions, such as “What is your greatest weakness?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?” - both of which are top picks in many polls for least favorite interview questions – and instead are incorporating more unusual interview questions as part of their hiring process.
So, why are hiring managers asking these unusual questions during an interview? According to Lynne Sarikas, Director of the MBA Career Center at the Northeastern University business school, these types of questions are used “to demonstrate quick thinking, poise, creativity, and even a sense of humor.” Since most interviewee’s show up to an interview with answers already prepared for the common questions, these unusual questions can show how well a candidate will respond to unexpected questions and scenarios.
The unusual questions asked during an interview can vary greatly depending on job position and industry. Here is a list of 10 off-the-wall interview questions, from a variety of companies, that job seekers have actually been asked during an interview:
- How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30pm on a Friday? (Interview question for Google)
- Room, desk, or car- which one do you clean first? (Pinkberry Interview Question)
- How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator? (Horizon Group Properties Interview Question)
- If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it? (Hewlett-Packard Interview Question)
- How many Ping-Pong balls can you fit in a school bus? (Interview Question at Google)
- So why do you think you are a genius? (Proctor & Gamble Interview Question)
- If you could be any superhero, who would it be? (AT&T Interview Question)
- What would you do if you just inherited a pizzeria from your uncle?(Volkswagen Interview Question)
- What do you think of garden gnomes? (Interview Question for Trader Joe’s)
- Does life fascinate you? (Interview Question for Ernst & Young)
It is a pretty safe assumption that an interview will not be entirely comprised of unusual questions. Interviewers typically choose to mix one or two bizarre questions in with more common interview questions during the hiring process. The key when answering these types of questions is to not get flustered. Job candidates should remain calm, take time to think about their answer, and then respond in a positive and concise manner. Luckily, for job seekers the actual answers to these weird questions are not usually the focus of the interviewer. It is all about thinking quick on your feet and keeping your composure!
How would you answer any of these off-the-wall questions? What are some strange interview questions have you been asked during a job interview? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comment box below.