General questions such as "Tell me about yourself", "Why do you want to work for us?", and "Describe your biggest achievement" are all typical interview questions that most candidates should be well equipped to answer.
Nowadays though, some hiring managers are known to throw in a curveball with a seemingly bizarre, unrelated question that can catch you completely off guard. Google was well-known for weird questions being part of their interview process.
Often, these questions are designed to assess your ability to think on your feet, your analytical thinking skills, and your general way of viewing the world.
In most cases, the process of getting to an answer is more important than the actual answer itself.
Here are 10 of the weirdest interview questions ever asked, and how to handle the situation if you end up being thrown a curveball of your own.
The top 10 oddball interview questions, according to Glassdoor
Think you’ve got what it takes to work at SpaceX or HubSpot? If Glassdoor’s list of the top oddball interview questions is anything to go by, you’ll have to be prepared to field some odd queries to land the job:
1. Asked at SpaceX: "When a hot dog expands, in which direction does it split and why?"
2. Asked at Whole Foods Market: "Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?"
3. Asked at Dropbox: "If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?"
4. Asked at Urban Outfitters: "What would the name of your debut album be?"
5. Asked at J.W. Business Acquisitions: "How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?"
6. Asked at HubSpot: "If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?"
7. Asked at Trader Joe's: "What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?"
8. Asked at Boston Consulting Group: "If you were a brand, what would be your motto?"
9. Asked at Delta Air Lines: "How many basketballs would fit in this room?"
10. Asked at Uniqlo: "If you had $2,000, how would you double it in 24 hours?"
How to answer a weird interview question
So you’re in the interview room and all is going well until someone throws up a bizarre and seemingly random interview question. How should you react?
Firstly, take your time when answering. Your interviewer has most likely designed the question to be intentionally testing you and won’t necessarily expect you to have an immediate answer at your fingertips.
Secondly, think about what the company does and what the role in question aims to achieve. If there is an opportunity to show off specialist knowledge, technical ability or mathematical skill in answering the question, this is more than likely what the question is designed to do.
In most cases, these bizarre questions are an opportunity to demonstrate your powers of lateral thinking, so try to think creatively about how you could approach the problem. For some of the more bizarre interview questions, there may be a number of possible answers and not necessarily a right or wrong answer.
And finally, try not to get flustered, but rather apply reasonable rationale and talk the interviewer confidently and calmly through the steps you’d take to come to a conclusion.
Your acceptance and willingness to embrace an unusual question and your efforts to give a logical answer will be looked upon favourably by an employer, whatever answer you eventually arrive at.
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