When going to an interview it is best to prepare yourself for all possible questions. Some questions, however, are harder to foresee than others, and some will always be unexpected.
Often there is no right or wrong answer to these questions, but the recruiter will throw an odd one in just to see how you’d react. Your answer might reflect, for instance, your personality or problem-solving abilities.
Here are some of the craziest interview questions ever asked, and the thought-process behind how to answer them.
1. If you were a miniature person trapped inside a salad bowl, how would you get out?
Questions like these can leave you perplexed for the first couple of seconds. This is not what you prepared for when applying for, for example, an IT job.
The reason an interviewer will ask this kind of question, is to find out how good your problem-solving skills are.
2. Try and sell me a wooden saucepan
Unless you want a job in sales, having to theoretically sell something during an interview is quite unexpected.
Here, they are trying to see how you would do in pitching something you haven’t prepared, and on top of that they will have an image of how creative you can be in tricky situations.
3. Why are most manhole covers round?
Before saying this is the most ridiculous question you’ve ever heard, realise that both Google and Microsoft are known for asking this question.
With this question a recruiter is finding out how good your deductive thinking and creativity skills are. Next to that, they will assess if you can explain to someone why something is like it is, or, if you actually know the real answer, that you are a knowledgeable person.
4. If you were a punctuation mark, which one would you be?
Questions where interviewers ask you to compare yourself to one thing in a certain category are aimed at gauging your personality. The choice for a certain punctuation mark here is not important; it’s the explanation that counts. They want to know, when given different options, how you would compare and describe yourself, using certain characteristics, as well as why you are better suited to one than to another.
5. If zombies would have invaded earth, who would you want on your team?
Unfortunately the recruiter probably doesn’t want to bond with you about his or hers favourite zombie movies.
What recruiters really want to hear is if you are able to assess your own abilities and can create a team of valuable members who complete each other.
6. How do I rate as an interviewer?
Don’t think the roles are reversed with this question. Even though on first sight you will be assessing the interviewer, the interviewer is still assessing you on how you are assessing him.
Still with me? Now here’s the reason behind this question.
Answering risky questions like these will show how you are both truthful but also tactful, which could come in handy if you have to deal with customers, for instance.
7. Can you explain the full process of how to use a seatbelt?
There is a chance that maybe you came across as not the brightest of them all, but most likely the interviewer is asking you to explain something because he wants to know if you can break tasks in simple and clear steps, and if you are able to give good directions to someone.
So when you get any of these, or similar, crazy questions, don’t immediately assume it won’t bring any value or isn’t a validated test of your abilities. Recruiters know what they are doing and have good reasons for every question they ask. You can’t prepare for these kinds of questions because you never know what is going to be asked. What you can do is practice your out-of-the-box-thinking and reflect on how you would answer questions similar to the ones above.