When preparing for an interview, we’re told to sound professional yet warm, interested yet not too interested, and most importantly, answer the questions directly. What happens, then, when the questions asked sound like a ridiculous riddle?
Here are the top 20 oddest interview questions we’ve ever seen, courtesy of sites such as HubSpot, Glassdoor, Fast Company, The Smart Local, Balance Careers, and more (read till the end for our recommended answering technique!):
Job Interview Questions That Confused Us
- “If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?”
- “If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose?”
- “You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?”
- “If you were a tree /animal, what kind of tree /animal would you be and why?”
- “If a lion and a tiger fought, who would win and why?”
- “Do you believe in Bigfoot?”
- “How many 50-cent coins would fit into this room?”
- “You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What colour would you be and why?”
- “If you were a movie character, who would you be and why?”
- “If you don’t get this job what’s your backup plan?”
- “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
- “Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.”
- “If you can only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
- “How do you explain Twitter to your grandmother?”
- “How lucky are you and why?”
- “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?”
- “How does the internet work?”
- “Have you ever been on a boat?”
- “What was the last gift you gave someone?”
- “If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?”
How To Answer These Odd Job Interview Questions
So, how should you answer these questions? Well, the aim (misguided or otherwise) of these questions is to test your ability to logically work through an unexpected moment. The point is for you to be surprised, and hence have to think on your feet. There are a million different answers, but the most important thing is to be able to explain, using a personal anecdote or real-life example, why you think that way.
For example, to question 2, you could say, “I would choose flying, because I personally don’t like airplanes, and I think that it would come in handy when there are traffic jams on the ground.”
Or, for question 7: “I’m going to guess…50,000? 1 million seems too many, but anything less than 50,000 seems too little…also, I guess the weight of all the coins might compress the ones at the bottom, making it even harder to guess.”
Or, for question 18: “No, but I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise with my family, because it seems like it would be a nice way to spend time together, since there are only that many things you can do on the cruise.”
Regardless of what your first instinct is, the only thing you shouldn’t say is “Erm, I don’t know.” This shows a lack of creative thinking and problem-solving skills, and also wastes the opportunity for you to showcase your personality.
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