Interview questions are meant to assess your ability to think fast on your feet, your creativity, your character, or your ability to solve problems. Common questions in interviews are “tell us a little bit more about yourself”, or “where do you see yourself in the next five years?”
Sometimes, however, an interviewer will ask a totally unexpected question that seems weird or completely irrelevant to the job. Usually, these odd questions have no “ right” or “wrong” answers. The interviewer might just want to access how you view the world, or what’s your stance on cultural matters, just to see your thought process, creativity, or your personality.
When you get these questions, try to explain your reasoning as clearly as possible. Ask yourself what the question aims to achieve and answer in a way that will show your good qualities and the skills that you have which qualify you for that job.
1. “Why are manhole covers round?”
Chris Morrissey, Head of Bioinformatics at Bioage labs, explains that the reason why manhole covers are round is simply so that they do not fall in as the cover is usually slightly bigger in diameter than that of the hole that it’s covering. Any other shape can easily be manipulated and end up falling in.
2. “What is your least favorite thing about People?”
An interviewer might want to check how you relate to people as well as your level of tolerance. If you cannot stand people, then it would simply mean that you’re not a team player and in an environment where teamwork is vital, for example, a busy restaurant or a police department, teamwork equals success.
3. “How do you fit a giraffe in a fridge?”
This question is from UBS and basically what they were looking for was simplicity. It was aimed at checking how the candidate would scrutinize problems. However, the ideal answer was to simply open the fridge and put in the giraffe.
4. “If you found yourself stuck on a deserted island and could only bring 3 things, what would they be?”
Your ability to come up with efficient solutions to problems that seem almost impossible to solve is something that many interviewers are keen about. How practical are your solutions, how able are you to tackle real problems in real-time?
5. “What if you found out your boss is having an affair with a colleague?”
This question by Mr. Ketan Kapoor, the CEO of Mettl was aimed at accessing how a candidate is able to separate boundaries. The interviewer will check the reasoning behind the answer to check a candidate’s professional ethics and the ability to retain confidential work information.
6. “Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
Whole Foods Market meat cutter explains that the interviewer may be looking to see how you approach different problems. Do you prefer to deal with one huge problem or would rather handle a couple of smaller problems?
7. “ What’s your favorite cartoon and why?”
This question was asked to Stacy Nagai, A public relations manager at Chapman University. She explains that the interviewer wanted to get a chance to see her silly side while at the same time helping her to relax.
8. “If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?”
Mr. Underwood of the Dropbox rotation program explains that the interviewer is checking to see how the candidate strategizes and is prioritizing workplace matters.
9. “How would you explain Facebook to your grandma?”
This question, asked by Huddle to their sales executives, was checking their ability to describe something that is very technical to someone who was not technical at all in such a way that they would understand and appreciate it.
10. “How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?”
This question was from J.W. Business Acquisitions human resources recruiter. The recruiter is simply trying to see how creative you can get and if you are able to really think outside the box.