In case you’re wondering, exactly “why” do companies like JW Business Acquisitions and Facebook ask such weird interview questions?
Weird interview questions are somewhat of a “fad” these days as recruiters (and HR managers too!) find new ways to stump managers and executives. Some of the best-known examples are from companies that have experienced sizable growth and now possess highly coveted industry ranks, which they are leveraging to their advantage to help identify top candidates to hire. But today, even start-up firms are jumping on the bandwagon.
There are other reasons why recruiters are developing and turning to wacky interview questions when meeting with candidates and forming their teams.
Hiring managers may ask odd interview questions to gain insight into the thought process and reasoning skills of candidates. It may also be merely for curiosity. When candidates are challenged to come up with creative answers, this can become very comical at times. Yet, hiring companies want pragmatic, effective, and trained staff growing their businesses.
Before that next job interview, an interview coach can help you prep and answer even the most unusual interview questions.
How do these weird interview questions affect job seekers?
It’s hard enough to deal with normal interview questions, but then to be confronted with an interview question that is off-the-wall – any job seeker will panic at first. It’s a bit of an unfair advantage that recruiters already have, then taken to the next level.
My best advice as an interview coach and professional resume writer is that you will want to answer with professionalism and kindness.
Here Are 5 “Popularly” Odd Interview Questions Asked By Hiring Companies
Here are some of the recent weird interview questions that have been floating around out there, as submitted by a variety of candidates on company review sites and forums.
#1 – If you were a car, what model and make would you be, and why? (Quora)
This interview question has had many variations over the years, but it’s essentially the same at its core. What a recruiter wants to find out is how you see yourself as a candidate and how creatively you can sell yourself.
For example, if you think you are a red corvette, you could be someone who is fast-paced, bold and likes to see life in the Fastlane.
Want to be someone who is perceived to be steady and reliable?
Go with a more conservative classic car, like a Buick or Chevy.
#2 – Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses? (Whole Foods Market)
One of the most imaginative, but arguably weird interview questions, this one has strategy written all over it.
It’s also pretty funny to think about, right?
Try not to laugh out loud, but have a sense of humor with this one.
Consider what you would do when faced with a huge duck, or 100 pint-sized horses.
How would you attempt to defend yourself?
The way you strategize this can be an indicator of how well you break down projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
#3 – How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida? (J.W. Business Acquisitions)
Like many employers, J.W. Business Acquisitions also puts their own spin on the interview questions they ask.
Can you sell something that people most likely won’t want?
If you can answer this one with tactfulness, you could be on your way to a bright future as a sales leader.
Hint: The answer involves adding ice.
#4 – What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer? (Trader Joe’s)
Here’s another super odd interview question that demands out-of-the-box thinking.
Do you open the freezer and let the penguin out and risk him dying, or do you leave him alone and bring him his favorite fish treats?
The answer has a lot to do with how well you manage people and resources. Think in those terms with a creative answer.
#5 – On your very best day at work – the day you come home and think you have the best job in the world – what did you do that day? (Facebook)
This classic never gets old.
A solid answer expresses the values that you have about work, your ideal work situation, environment, and perks.
Miranda Kalinowski, the global head of recruiting for Facebook, revealed that the correct answer reflects the mission of the company to, “give people powerful sharing opportunities so that everyone stays connected.”
Watch out for your opponents!
A word to the wise here. You may be asked to describe your current employer or worse yet, another one of the candidates.
While you want to remain positive and you’ve been advised to never day anything rude about another person, you also don’t want to boast about the abilities of your competitors.
These kinds of interview questions are not fair at all because they don’t really reveal your true loyalty or work ethics.
Here’s my advice (borrowed from an earlier post of mine):
Think about answering kindly and professionally (and keep a slight smile on your face) with:
“Well, I didn’t show up here to market my competitors, no more than I will sell your competitor’s products while under your employment. When I believe in a product, I stick with it. In this case, I am the product. Would you like me to go into detail on why these other candidates believe I should have the position?”
The next time you’re put in a position to answer an unusual interview question, and you don’t want to experience a bad interview experience, don’t be afraid to have fun with the process. Crack a joke, or be playful with your response. Remember, jobs not only go to the most qualified person but to the one that the interviewer(s) relates to the best.