Just when you think you have perfected your interview act, your potential new employer throws a spanner in the works by asking you some weird interview questions. What do you do? Do you panic and start talking gibberish? Or do you turn these quirky questions to your advantage? Of course, it’s the latter. In this post, we’ll show you how to answer weird interview questions with ease and wit!
Top 6 Weird Interview Questions and Answers
Most interviews follow the same course – questions about your previous work experience, qualifications, learned skills, achievements, etc. Mostly these are asked to make sure you are a good fit for the role on offer. But when a company decides to throw in the odd curveball question, we can be able to think on our feet that they are actually looking for!
Although you can never quite tell what sort of uncommon interview questions you’ll face during the interview, we have some “insider” intel for HRs, recruiting specialists, and job searchers. Below is our quick round-up of weird interview questions and what they reveal to potential employers.
Q: If you were a car, what sort of car would you be?
This might be anything other than a car, so be prepared for some strange example!
Why do recruiters pose this odd-ball question?
In most cases, they are trying to better understand your personality and self-perception levels. It’s a bit of an interview ice-breaker typically thrown in early in the conversation to probe your creativity and sense of humor.
The simple answer to this question is that there is no right answer. The interviewer may see themselves as a Lamborghini, but this doesn’t mean you have to see yourself as one too! You may see yourself as a four-wheel-drive or a people carrier.
Explaining that you being a four-wheel-drive car will enable you to master rough terrain more smoothly, or being able to carry your team with you as a people carrier, can reveal a lot about your attitude and personality.
A good answer can go like this:
I think I’m a mini Jeep hybrid. I can drive through challenging terrain without a hiccup, but also am pretty effective when driving around narrow city lanes.
Q: If there was a cat stuck at the top of a tree, how would you get it down?
The purpose of this interview question is to test your analytical and critical thinking skills. Surely, the situation is ridiculous. But it can nicely illustrate your ability to think out-of-the-box.
Again, there is no right answer to this question. But your choice of solution will reveal how you think and calculate should you be faced with a problem to overcome.
You may give a tongue-in-cheek answer to this by suggesting you get your rifle, but this answer probably will not go in your favor. Saying that you would call the emergency services might be better here because they have the right safety equipment and training to be able to rescue the cat.
The interviewer will see that you have a safety-conscious mind and wouldn’t put yourself or anyone else at risk of harm when trying to do the right thing.
Q: I am holding an [object]. Can you sell it to me now?
If you are applying for a sales position, most employers will want to hear a quick sales pitch from you.
But what if you are applying for a non-sales-related job? Again, this will be asked to see how well you think on your feet. The employer may want to test you to see how versatile and flexible you may be. This could be important if the company is looking for employees that can master different roles to help cover for teammates or co-workers should they be absent in an emergency or are sick and off work. Stepping into the role of another to fill a gap can be important for businesses, especially smaller companies with less staff.
Here are two quick copywriting formula to help you frame your response:
- AIDA: Short for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
- For example: “Your coffee mug is missing again. Did John or Sarah take it again? What if you could prevent others from stealing your cuppa? Never again will a person borrow your cup because it now has your face printed on it!”
- PAS: Short for Problem, Agitation, Solution.
- For example: “So you’ve wanted to write down my contact information, right? Ugh, but your pen isn’t writing on this surface. But this pen writes on every surface, even vertically. And it’s only $2,99 — just like a regular pen!
Q: What Does “Brimborian” Mean?
Instead of “brimborian”, you may hear another weird word or non-existing term.
Typically, such questions are asked with a straight face in line with more common interview questions around your hard skills and software knowledge.
The purpose? See if you can honestly admit that you have no clue what this is because such a term doesn’t exist. This is a quick question employers use to weed out overly confident candidates who have problems with admitting their shortcomings and lack of knowledge in some areas. Or people who prefer how cannot be forthcoming with superiors.
The only correct answer to such weird job interview questions is “I don’t know and/or I doubt that this is a real industry word”.
Q. How Many Balls Would Fit in This Room?
This is a quirky logical puzzle some recruiters like to ask to assess your problem-solving skills. You can often hear it for managerial, technical, and consulting positions.
In most cases, the interviewer doesn’t expect you to work a precise number. But rather hear your chain of thoughts when solving this problem.
Here’s how you should approach such a question:
- Collect your data first: Ask the room’s dimensions and the ball size. Are we talking tennis balls or basketballs?
- Ask if you are allowed to deflate the balls. Because this way more can be fitted into a rectangular room effectively.
- Then apply some basic maths. First, calculate the room’s volume. Then, estimate the diameter of a ball, say 10 inches. That means approximately 1 ball per 1 cubic foot. Provide a ballpark answer.
Q. How Can You Ensure That There’s Always Milk In the Fridge?
Similarly, there can be variations in terms of product types. But the general premises remain the same: you need to provide several solutions to the problem.
The best answer to this weird interview question will depend on the position you are applying for.
First, you’ll have to decide if you plan to narrate the answer from the perspective of a fridge owner, customer (aka someone using the milk), or a person responsible for supplying the product.
Depending on the above explain a system how you’ll ensure milk supply and provide a walkthrough. For example:
First, I’ll determine the average milk consumption rate and estimate the average restock needs. Let’s say two gallons, twice a week. This should suffice even if some of the milk gets perished or stolen. Then I’ll program the delivery for Monday morning, 9.30 am. I’ll notify the office manager and make her responsible for picking up the delivery.
You may not be asked any weird interview questions at all during your next round. But it always helps to be prepared for the unexpected. Remember such questions are asked to test your ability to think on your feet or outside of the box. Many employers look for creative and versatile employees rather than well-trained robots that can only perform one task. Also, keep your sense of humor though – you may need it to get through the interview!