Glassdoor, the employment web site, has compiled a list of the 25 oddest interview questions culled from their user’s experiences. Of the 25, 16 were during interviews at technology companies or for technology jobs. We understand that there is merit in asking what may seem to be an odd question because it can elicit information on how a candidate solves a problem, thinks creatively – or not, reacts to a curve ball, etc. However, these still made us laugh and wonder – often something that seems like a good idea in theory doesn’t quite work out in practice!
We recommend asking more straightforward questions and testing people’s abilities. Think of real examples – problems that have arisen at your company on projects in the past are great because you can compare their answer with how you actually solved the problem. The full list is below. How would you answer these? What’s the most unusual question you’ve been asked? Or, what unusual questions do you ask candidates and why?
Interviewing isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone, there’s a bit of art and science in it and practice certainly helps. In the course of our lifetime, most of us will be an employer and an employee, sitting on both sides of the desk so to speak. At the very least, this list could be useful in reminding us, depending on which we are at the moment, what not to ask and to be prepared to answer anything!
- “If you could throw a parade of any caliber through the Zappos office what type of parade would it be?” Asked at Zappos.
- “How lucky are you and why?” Asked at Airbnb.
- “If you were a pizza deliveryman how would you benefit from scissors?” Asked at Apple.
- “If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?” Asked at Red Frog Events.
- “Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?” Asked at Dell.
- “If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?” Asked at Yahoo.
- “If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?” Asked at Bed Bath & Beyond.
- “Do you believe in Big Foot?” Asked at Norwegian Cruise Line.
- “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?” Asked at Xerox.
- “What is your least favorite thing about humanity?” Asked at ZocDoc.
- “How would you use Yelp to find the number of businesses in the US?” Asked at Factual.
- “How honest are you?” Asked at Allied Telesis.
- “How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the US each year?” Asked at Goldman Sachs.
- “Can you instruct someone how to make an origami ‘cootie catcher’ with just words?” Asked at LivingSocial.
- “If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?” Asked at McKinsey & Company.
- “You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?” Asked at Urban Outfitters.
- “How does the internet work?” Asked at Akamai.
- “If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you, and why?” Asked at SinglePlatform.
- “What’s the color of money?” Asked at American Heart Association.
- “What was the last gift you gave someone?” Asked at Gallup.
- “What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?” Asked at Applebee’s.
- “How many snow shovels sold in the US last year?” Asked at TASER.
- “It’s Thursday, we’re staffing you on a telecommunications project in Calgary, Canada on Monday. Your flight and hotel are booked; your visa is ready. What are the top five things you do before you leave?” Asked at ThoughtWorks.
- “Describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seatbelt.” Asked at Active Network.
- “Have you ever been on a boat?” Asked at Applied Systems.
Looking for a new job? Read: How to Optimize Your Job Search, A Comprehensive Guide for Every Job Seeker