More Kooky Interview Questions
In school, you probably learned that success depends on preparation. Once we entered the real world, you quickly tacked “luck” “salesmanship” and “connections” onto this simple formula. Chances are, we all take this mindset into job interviews. We use the internet to research a firm’s products, philosophy, and marketplace. We tap into our Linkedin network to learn about their culture (and your prospective boss). Of course, we polish our message and rehearse our tone, pace, and gestures.
Come interview time, you’re bound to add a fifth variable to what makes people successful – Thinking on your feet. If you’re interviewing for anything above entry level, the powers-that-be want to know how you think – and how you respond under pressure. And there’s no better way than tossing out an absurd question that seemingly has no right-or-wrong answer (or so you think).
“Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?” (Xerox)
“How does the internet work?” (Akamal)
“If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?” (Red Frog Events)
Those were among the 25 weirdest questions compiled by Glassdoor in 2014. What do they reveal? With the tennis ball, for example, you can measure technical reasoning, soft skills, and creativity. Do candidates connect the answer to a particular purpose or a process? Do they engage, humor, or persuade with their response? Can you quickly formulate a cogent response? These are all skills that can set employees apart.
Even more, they can differentiate which candidates best fit a particular role. For example, Dell asks account management candidates if they are a “hunter or a gatherer?” If you have a hunter – someone who prefers going out into the unknown and bring back game – you have a candidate better suited to uncovering new business. Conversely, gatherers would perform better in a role where they’d manage details and relationships.
This year, Glassdoor has cut their best oddball questions from 25 to 10. Wondering which doozies could be coming your way? Here is Glassdoor’s list:
1) “What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?” (Airbnb)
2) “What’s your favorite 90s jam?” (Squarespace)
3) “If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?” (Dropbox)
4) “Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?” (Stanford University)
5) “If you had a machine that produced $100 dollars for life what would you be willing to pay for it today?” (Aksia)
6) “What did you have for breakfast?” (Banana Republic)
7) “Describe the color yellow to somebody who’s blind.” (Spirit Airlines)
8) “If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?” (Bose)
9) “How many people flew out of Chicago last year?” (Redbox)
10) “What’s your favorite Disney Princess?” (Cold Stone Creamery)
Notice that Stanford made the list with the pressing Batman-Spiderman debate (asked in a medical simulationist interview). How would you respond? Check out how Glassdoor members responded and think about which of these people you would hire for the job…
- “I’d start by pointing out that they’re probably referring to “Spider-Man”.”
- “It already happened, and Spiderman won. Why else do you think Batman has to wear his underpants on the outside? that was the losing bet…”
- “The publishing company.”
- “Hmm, good question, tell you what, I’ll be Spiderman and you be Batman and lets see who will win.”
- “The bad guys, cause there’d be two beat-up good guys when it was over.”
- “That depends entirely on who the author draws as winner.”
- “Batman. Batman is older and wiser. Don’t mess with old people.”
- “Who cares and what does it have to do with the job?”
DON’T MISS: THE CRAZIEST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS