Imagine you’re being interviewed for a great new job. It is going good so far, and you are just nailing the questions because you put in the prep time to answer anything about your past jobs and duties. Just when the thought of “Oh, baby … this job is mine!” hits you, the interviewer asks you the weirdest interview question ever, “How many cows are in Canada?” Huh? What?
All you can manage to stammer is, “…uh, excuse me?” Don’t panic. Your new job probably doesn’t have anything to do with counting Canadian cows. You’ve just been asked one of those special interview questions that can really throw someone off. That’s just one example of the strange interview questions that are gaining in popularity today. Smart hiring managers like to throw you a mental curveball to see how you’ll react. After all, once you’ve heard that “I work too hard” for the ten millionth time after asking an applicant what their greatest weakness is, these questions are like heaven.
Glassdoor.com has examined over 235,000 interview reviews and 300,000 interview questions to find the most oddball interview questions people have been asked. They’ve been doing this since 2013 and now they’ve expanded into several European countries as well, such as Germany and the United Kingdom. Most are weird … some are a little kooky … and some just blow your mind.
So tell us … how would you answer some of the weirdest interview questions when you’re NOT under pressure from a job interview?
1. “If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why?”
– Asked of a research associate candidate
– Asked of a local data quality evaluator candidate
3. “How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?”
– Asked of a pricing/revenue management analyst candidate
4. “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?”
– Asked of an office engineer candidate
5. “What song best describes your work ethic?”
– Asked of a consumer sales candidate
6. “If you were a pizza delivery person, how would you benefit from scissors?”
– Asked of product development candidate
– Asked of associate analyst candidate
8. “How would you rate your memory?”
– Asked of a front desk associate candidate
9. “What magic power would you like to have?”
– Asked of an office manager candidate
10. “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?”
– Asked of a call center candidate
11. “If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?”
– Asked of a grocery crew candidate
– Asked of a software engineer candidate
13. “How do you make a tuna sandwich?”
– Asked of an office manager candidate
14. “My wife and I are going on vacation. Where would you recommend?”
– Asked of an advisory associate candidate
15. “If you could sit next to one person on a transcontinental flight, who would it be?”
– Asked of a business analyst candidate
16. “Estimate how many windows are in New York.”
– Asked of an associate consultant candidate
– Asked of an Adventures City manager candidate
18. “Calculate the angle of two clock pointers when time is 11:50.”
– Asked of a software developer candidate
19. “Have you ever stolen a pen from work?”
– Asked of a software architect candidate
20. “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.”
– Asked of a sales associate candidate
21. “What kitchen utensil would you be?”
– Asked of a marketer candidate
22. “If you could have dinner with three actors that are no longer living, who would you pick?”
– Asked of a biomedical engineer candidate
23. “On a scale from 1 to 10, rate me as an interviewer.”
– Asked of a general laborer candidate
24. “If you could be anyone else, who would it be?”
– Asked of a sales representative candidate
25. “How do you get an elephant in a fridge?”
– Asked of an analyst candidate
The good news is that you don’t have to panic if you’re ever asked oddball questions like these. There are no right or wrong answers, really. They are used to assess your thought process, your creativity, and your sense of humor with some of them. I used to ask prospective copywriting employees what their favorite movie is and why. I really didn’t care what they answered.
Well, that’s a lie. If they answered “Caddyshack” or “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, they got a gold star from me on the spot! Maybe not the job, but my total respect.
So just relax, think carefully, and try to answer it to the best of your ability. The interviewer is trying to see if you’d be a good fit for the company and that open position. You can even smile and tell them, “Well, let me see … I have to think about this for a second” to gather your thoughts. Pausing for a moment and giving a good answer is a thousand times better than panicking and blurting out the first thing that pops into your mind because you want to answer quickly.