Most of us go to job interviews expecting to be asked the standard questions we have heard time and time again. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time, what are your strengths, what are your weaknesses and can you give an example of a time you dealt with a difficult situation? However, it seems that no matter how much you prepare, there are some interviewers who just can’t resist throwing in a surprise question that you could never have predicted.
Here are some of the strangest interview questions that have ever been asked according to glassdoor.com.
How many glass balls do you think it would take to fill this room? Questions like this are often asked to test your creativity, critical thinking and how you handle pressure and problem solving demands.
What do you think about when you are alone in your car on your way to work? How drunk you got at the weekend, how quickly you would retire if you won the lottery and what you had for dinner last night are not particularly aspirational answers and this is exactly what your interviewer is testing. Instead, mention that you think about the list of things you need to get done at work that day, any new ideas you can bring to your team and any other business-related thoughts as this will show a potential employer that you are switched on and ready to get going as soon as you step foot in the office.
A penguin walks through the door right now. What does he say and why is he here? This is bound to throw anyone and if you get a question like this don’t be afraid to stop and take a moment. A clever response would be to use the situation to sell yourself. Say something along the lines of how the penguin would come in and tell the interviewer to employ you because you are organised, a natural leader and a good fit for the team. This is likely to impress anyone and chances are that you will also be highly memorable.
Interviewers may also ask this question to assess whether of not you would be a good cultural fit for the company – especially if it’s a young, fun and dynamic organisation. Incidentally, when this question was asked by Clark Construction Group for an Office Engineer position, the candidate that got the job responded, ‘where’s the sun screen?’
No matter how stumped you are, don’t ever respond with ‘I don’t know.’ Your creativity, critical thinking and ability to handle pressure is all being tested here and by failing to give an answer you’re telling the employer that you don’t possess any of these skills.
My wife and I are going on holiday, where would you recommend? Questions like this are more likely to be asked in a sales job and chances are that you are being tested on your sales technique and powers of persuasion.
If you put your mobile phone on silent before you came into this interview but halfway through it rang really loudly, what would you say to me? You can almost be certain that here the interviewer is trying to find out how you might handle a difficult or embarrassing situation. Be sure to emphasise the fact that you would remain calm and rectify the problem as quickly as possible.
What’s the strangest question you have ever been asked in a job interview? Feel free to share your stories with us below.