15 Real Weird Interview Questions Answered For You
Hi there! If you are preparing for a job interview, you have probably rehearsed the most common questions like:
Tell me about yourself
Why do you wanna work for us?
I am pretty sure that you are not expecting to hear any weird or out-of-the-ordinary question from your employer.
You will be surprised, but candidates from all over the world have gone through some pretty weird interviews, and thankfully, they have shared those questions with us.
In this article I have scouted GlassDoor in search of the weirdest questions ever asked in REAL job interviews and I have formulated some possible (successful) answers to all of them.
So keep reading below to find out how to answer some of the craziest questions ever asked from employers around the world.
#1. What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?
Trader Joe's interview question is surely out of the ordinary. It kind of sounds like a joke, but it’s not.
Even if it might sound unreal, the question is designed to check how the applicant handles new, unplanned and stressful situations.
So the best way to answer this question is to communicate that you would think logically of how to take the best possible action, while remaining calm.
A good answer would be: “I would surely be surprised at first, but then I would keep my calm and the first thing I would do is to call the animal control line to come and rescue the penguin. Then I would ask them how to take care of the animal, since I have no knowledge in the field, and I would try and feed the penguin to make sure it is ok”.
#2. Are you more a hunter or a gatherer?
Believe it or not, but this weird question asked by Dell, has a deeper meaning.
There is not a right way to answer, it depends on the job you are applying for.
Always try to think: How does this question relate to the job qualifications?
Think about what “Hunter” and “Gatherer” mean in the corporate world of today:
Hunter can mean someone who looks for prey (client, perhaps?) and after achieving success (a sale?) moves on to find the next prey
A gatherer is someone that farms the land and puts a lot of time and care to achieve results in the long run, so it could be compared to steadily investing in customer relationships to achieve greater results in the future (for example)
So depending on the job you are applying for, if you are asked this question, try to think which one of these qualities would benefit you better.
In this case, the position was for an Account Manager, therefore I would personally choose a Gatherer profile with a mix of a Hunter. So you could answer like this:
"For the most part, I would define myself as more of a gatherer, because I believe that investing in a project with hard work and dedication (like a gatherer does with the farming land) will pay off in the long run and provide better results. As an account manager I would prioritize nurturing client’s relations and building a relationship of trust, rather than achieving a higher number of one-time sales. Therefore I believe that I am a mix of the both, but more on the gatherer side."
#3. What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?
Also in this question’s case, there is no right or wrong answer. This question is most likely designed to understand the personality type of the candidate.
Depending on your response, the interviewer will understand if you are a team player or you prefer to work alone; how you cope under pressure and what you prioritize.
A good answer would be something like this: "Assuming that I came out of the plane crash unharmed and on land, the first thing I would do is to check if anyone of the other passengers or crew members is ok. Then I would scout the surroundings to look for help, if I cannot find any help I would then look for water and shelter".
This kind of answer is great because:
It shows that you are a team player (the first thing you do is check if anyone is ok and you look for help immediately)
It shows that you don’t panic under pressure and you can handle complicated situations on your own (by looking for shelter and water)
#4. Pick two celebrities to be your parents
Urban Outfitter’s tricky question has the aim to get to know the candidate a little better. The employer who asks this question wants to see how strong is your identity and tap into your personal taste.
An ideal answer to this question could be something in these lines:
“I would never change my parents with anyone, because if I did that, it would also change who I am, and I would not want that. However if I really must, I would choose Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, because of their devotion to their children”.
When answering this question, steer clear from getting political or mention any controversial celebrity, no matter how much you like them. Always try to keep the conversation professional, even though the question might not be.
#5. How would you sell a fridge to an Eskimo?
This question might make you laugh, but in reality it can offer great insights on how a candidate approaches Sales.
The aim of this question is for the recruiter to see if the employee can think outside the box.
In this case the interview was for a Sales Associate position ad Harrods, so if you think about it, it makes sense: you can find literally everything you want at Harrods, so their sales people need to know how to sell ANYTHING.
The best answer in this case would be something original like: “I'd ask the Eskimo if they'd like a way to stop their food from freezing.” (Rob Granger, GlassDoor)
What the recruiter does not want to hear is you saying that it’s not possible to sell refrigerators to eskimos since they don’t need them.
#6. Describe the color yellow to somebody blind
Business Insider also spotted this odd question from Spirit Airlines, and according to Laurie Villa, Spirit Airlines Chief HR Officer, there are no right or wrong answers, as long as you convey a message of positivity.
It's not as much about the answer to the question as it is about watching the individual process it very quickly and give us interesting answers," Villa says.
"They're telling us how they can react with spontaneity, how they can think on their feet, and how they can express themselves," she adds. "It lets us see a little bit of who they are." (Villa, Business Insider)
So in this case, it really doesn’t matter how you answer, as long as you are fast and confident in your ideas.
#7. What did you have for breakfast?
Why would they care what I had for breakfast in a job interview??
In reality, they don’t.
What the recruiter wants to achieve by asking this question is a reaction: they want to see if you can come up with an original answer and also get to know your personality a little better.
According to Forbes, you should try not to be boring. Don’t just say “cereal.” Come up with a humorous quip, like, “I had Nutella, the breakfast of champions.”
It really doesn’t matter what you say, they are not gonna judge you from what you eat! But they are gonna judge you from the originality and reasoning behind your answer.
#8. If you were a brand, what would be your motto?
Uuuuuh… this is an interesting one.
To answer this, you need to think of brands as different personality types. Are you enthusiastic and rugged like Nike or innovate like Apple or competent like Amazon?
There is no specific way to answer this question correctly: it all depends on your personality!
However, depending on the job you are interviewing for, you can shape your answer to achieve better results.
For instance, in this case the interview was for a position as Consultant at Boston Consulting Group, so it would be a good idea to choose a motto similar to the one of Boston Consulting Group, or that shares its values.
You want to create a connection between yourself and the best in the industry and associate with their values and personal attributes relevant to the position you are interviewing for.
Once you have identified the company you should associate with, you can make up a motto: don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be perfect, as long as it communicates the right things.
So to get back to the case of Boston Consulting Group interview, you could say something like this: “If I were a brand, my motto would be <Transparency and Honesty> since I believe that in business relations - especially in consulting - being transparent and honest with clients and stakeholders is one of the main priorities, in order to develop significant and meaningful relationships”.
#9. If you had a machine that produced $100 for life, what would you be willing to pay for it today?
Tricky Question Alert!!
This may seem like an easy one, but be careful here.
What the recruiter wants to hear is NOT a number: they simply want to check your level of impulsiveness and what is your approach to money.
If you answer “$10’000”, it will give them the idea that you would do anything just for money, and without planning or thinking carefully about the consequences.
The ideal answer, is in fact another question.
Ask: Is the machine available to anyone?
How fast does the machine print the $100? And does it print them regularly, and at what pace?
Is it legal to own such a machine?
You could answer something like this: “That depends, before making any decision, I would have to get more information about the machine. Such as if the machine is available to anyone and how fast is the machine printing the $100 bills. Also, does the machine regularly print $100 bills and what is the speed of pace? Furthermore, I would need to know if owning such a machine is legal, because I would not buy something which is prohibited by law.”
Answering like this will convey the idea that you are not impulsive, especially when it comes to spending money. It will show the recruiter that you are a trustworthy and logical individual who can handle responsibilities (ex: handle the company’s treasure).
#10. How honest are you?
For this question, try to provide a comprehensive and elaborated answer.
Don’t just say: I’m 100% honest all the time.
We all know that’s not true.
A great answer is implying that you are an honest person, but also recognizing a few faults.
For example: "I would define myself as an honest and real person overall, but truthfully - nobody is 100% honest all of the time. I generally put a heavy focus on transparency and trustworthiness in the workplace, as well as in my personal life and I always try to be the most honest possible”.
#11. What’s your favorite Disney Princess?
I hope you have some knowledge about Disney Princesses for your next job interview!
This question - as weird as it can seem - is not designed to find out about your preferences in princesses, but about your personality and qualities.
So the ideal way to answer, is by elaborating.
For example: “My favorite Disney Princess is Cinderella, because I admire her diligence and dedication even during the worst times, and I too believe that hard work does pay off with time, especially in business.”
#12. What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
You might get a little creeped out about this question, but it hides a good intention.
The interviewer wants to assess how thoughtful you are and how much planning you like to do, so don’t just answer “I don’t think about nothing, I just sing along the radio”.
Just answer honestly, for instance “in the morning, I generally like to plan my day ahead and think about how to be productive and achieve my goals. If I am driving back home in the evening, I normally think about the events happened during the day: how to repeat my success or remedy my mistakes”.
#13. If you were a fruit what would you be and why?
A question like this is designed to show the employer your greatest qualities and how fast you can think on your feet, so take advantage of the many ways in which you could answer this!
Below are some great answers, as seen on CareerFaqs:
'I would be an apple. Apples can be juiced, baked, eaten on their own or in a fruit salad. Similarly, I am versatile and can perform well in different situations, on my own or in a team. And if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I am just as reliable and will be a healthy asset to your organization.'
'I would be a passionfruit. This is a hardy fruit that grows well in higher altitudes. Similarly, I thrive under pressure, can take criticism and am also very passionate about what I do.'
'I would be a banana. I have a soft centre and excellent people skills, but I also have a thick skin and am not put off by setbacks. I grow and develop all year round.'
#14. What is your least favorite thing about humanity?
I know that you are tempted to answer “hmmm.... job interviews?”
This is a very tricky question and you need to be careful on how you answer it.
The worst thing you can do is to complain about humanity’s flaws or personal life events. Even worse, DON'T get political.
The best case scenario is to make this negative question into a positive answer.
For example: “My least favorite thing about humanity is the fact that we are exploiting Earth’s natural resources for our own benefit. I care deeply about the environment, which is another reason why I would love to work for your firm and contribute to implement your current sustainability plan”
#15. If you had 3 minutes alone in a lift with the CEO what would you say?
“Ummm nothing… I would be too stressed to speak to her/him!”
Nope, don’t answer like this.
This question is a great chance to show the employer your knowledge and interest in the company and ask something that will be memorable.
For example: “I would ask him/her <Sir/Madame, I deeply admire how you have contributed to our company’s growth and I loved the latest project which involved partnering with The New York Times. Are you planning on working with them in the future? Their audience and client base is a perfect match for our company>”
When employers ask odd questions, they rarely do so just to hear the answer. What they are looking for in candidates, is their level of confidence, how quick they respond, more insights on their personality and qualities.
If you are asked a weird question during your job interview, the best think to do is to really think about the question, before answering impulsively.
Think is there is a deeper meaning and how can you answer while showcasing your best qualities and associating yourself to the company's values.
hope this article was helpful!
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