The Weirdest Job Interview Questions

Have you ever wondered why a manhole cover is round? Or how you weigh an elephant without scales? Apparently the answer to these questions could get you a job for a multi-national company, including IBM and Microsoft.  These odd interview questions are among many used by companies in 2010 according to Glassdoor.  The career advice company has recently published their list of the top 25, off-the-wall interview questions of last year. The list was compiled from a variety of companies and analyst firms such as Facebook, Apple, Goldman Sachs, Google and IBM. The information was collected from thousands of oddball interview questions which job seekers sent to the publication. Stealing the top spot on the list was an interview question asked by investment bank, Goldman Sachs, If you were shrunk to a size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?

The Glassdoor list also includes:

  • If you could be any superhero, who would it be? Asked at At&T.
  • How are M&M’s made? Asked by US Bank
  • How many basketballs can you fit in this room? Asked by Google
  • Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird are you? Asked by Capital One
  • What would you do if you inherited a pizzeria from your uncle? Asked by Volkswagen

So why are these unconventional questions cropping up in interviews?

Surely employers would rather hear about a candidate relevant past experience than hear a lengthy explanation as to why the potential employee would rather be Wolverine than Spiderman.

However, the answer the candidate gives to such questions will arguably give the interviewer an insight into their way of thinking.  It could tell them whether they will be a good fit for the company.  These unusual questions are designed to challenge potential employees to think creatively and logically; many of these questions are asked in situations where the applicant is applying for a position that requires analytical thinking.

Also, the eccentric questions are specifically tailored to particular companies’ needs. For example, asked a potential candidate, If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner? This type of question reflects the online retailer’s need for people who are aware of ranking and ordering systems.

So if you do have an interview coming up, be aware these oddball questions could be virtually anything.  When you are heading to interview make sure you are open-minded and prepared for anything! The key in responding is not to let it fluster you. There is rarely a wrong answer to these offbeat questions so just be yourself and give an honest response. If you can turn your answer into something job-related, that’s a bonus!

Have you ever been asked any strange interview questions? Share them with us and also how you answered them!