Interviews can be a daunting enough experience for anyone looking for a new role, even without prospective employers throwing oddball questions into the mix. Increasingly however, hiring managers are taking on this strategy as a means to catch interviewees off guard.
The theory behind the recruitment method is that by asking interview questions that couldn’t possibly be anticipated, there’s a higher likelihood of obtaining a more honest response from candidates.
Interviewers are moving away from generic questions around teamwork and professional experience and are increasingly ramping up the questions that are a little more left of centre. If you’re not a creative thinker during interviews, there might be a chance it could cost you the role; however, if you can kick into "creative mode," you'll shine much more.
Below we’ve collated some of the craziest interview questions we’ve come across in the hope they’ll inspire you to get your creative juices flowing!
· "If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?"
· "Describe the colour yellow to somebody who's blind."
· “You’re prime minister for a day. What’s the first thing you do?”
· “Tell us a joke”
· “Name five uses of a stapler without staples.”
· “What do you think of garden gnomes?”
· “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?”
· “Which songs best describe your work ethic?”
· “On a sale of 1-10, how would you rate me as an interviewer?”
· “How many windows do you estimate to be in London?”
How to handle weird interview questions
Firstly, try not to get flustered. Take your time and pause if you need to think about the question at hand. The question is designed to be thought-provoking and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with saying, “let me know think about that one for a second’, before responding.
Secondly, think about the nature of the business and how the question might relate to it as well as your specific role. There may well be an opportunity to demonstrate technical ability or specialist knowledge when you answer the question, which is quite possibly what the interviewer is trying to achieve. If you think logically and talk the employer through the rationale and subsequent conclusion, your willingness to embrace the strange question can only be looked upon favourably.
Equally, the interviewer will be looking to understand your personality, and that’s not something you can easily fake. Our advice is to answer honestly and feel free to inject a sense of humour into your response as well! Most of the time, these bizarre questions are deliberately designed to test the powers of your creative thinking, and there may be a number of possible answers - not necessarily a right or wrong one.