10 weirdest job interview questions
Job interviews are nerve-racking enough.
The sweaty handshake, the stuffy attire, the self-promotion and salary talk.
And then comes a curve-ball question: “Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?”
That’s just a taste of the top oddball questions employers fired at job candidates in 2016, according to a report from Glassdoor based on candidates’ experiences.
The worst thing a candidate can do is panic when an unexpected question comes up, according to Susan Underwood, Glassdoor’s global head of recruiting and talent acquisition.
When questions deviate from the expected, employers tend to be assessing candidates personalities, workplace experience and problem-solving skills.
Here are some of the strangest questions job seekers heard:
1.”When a hot dog expands, in which direction does it split and why?”
— SpaceX Propulsion structural analyst
Nope, the employer isn’t interested in your culinary knowledge.
The hiring manager is likely looking to evaluate your ability to assess and solve a problem, said Underwood.
“If I was the candidate, I would ask about the variables … ask some questions back to the interviewer.”
2. “Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?”
— Whole Foods Market meat cutter
Maybe think of this question as: How do you approach problems? Do you prefer to tackle one big job, or a bunch of smaller jobs?
Keep in mind that there’s usually not a right or wrong answer to questions like these. “It’s a matter of understanding a person’s thought process and personality.”
3. “If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?”
– Dropbox rotation program
Employers want to know how a potential hire thinks, prioritizes and strategizes when it comes to the workplace and problem solving.
“I would answer that question with the approach of what is going on that business that day, what is important and that the three things might vary day to day,” Underwood said.
4. “What would the name of your debut album be?”
— Urban Outfitters sales associate
Gauging a candidate’s personality and whether or not they’ll blend with a company’s culture is key to successful hiring.
When questions are a little more playful like this one, don’t be afraid to show your personality, Underwood noted.
“For this position, they are probably looking for someone that is upbeat, energetic … maybe creative and can be relevant to their audience.”
5. “How would you sell hot coco in Florida?”
— J.W. Business Acquisitions human resources recruiter
Whether you’re being asked to sell ice in the Arctic or a hot beverage on the beach, employers are really looking to see your creativity skills and ability to think outside the box, according to Underwood.
6. “If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?”
— Hubspot account manager
This isn’t the time to expound on your lifelong dream to open a local coffee shop in your hometown.
“It’s to help them understand something about you as it relates to that position … they are probably getting at something else besides an unfilled passion a candidate might have.”
7. “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?”
— Trader Joe’s job candidate
Take a selfie?
This is another question looking to evaluate how you would handle potential workplace snags.
“It’s a silly way to get at your problem-solving skills,” said Underwood.
8. “If you were a brand, what would be your motto?”
— Boston Consulting Group consultant
An employer is likely trying to figure out how you view yourself and what motivates you every day.
9. “How many basketballs would fit in this room?”
— Delta Airlines revenue management co-op
If math isn’t your thing, this question could make you sweat. But since it was asked for a revenue management position, hopefully it’s doable.
“Walk them through your process, think outloud and talk as you work through the problem,” Underwood advised.
10. “If you had $2,000, how would you double it in 24 hours?”
— Uniqlo management trainee
Here’s your chance to brag about your sales techniques.
“Employers are likely trying to evaluate how creative you’ll be at selling and retailing and doing a lot with a little,” said Underwood.”