How To Survive The Interview From Hell

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By Larry Buhl

Is it not enough to have a resume bursting with accomplishments, an action plan for how you can benefit the company and a winning interview style to land the job? Now, you're also expected to answer brain teaser questions? Seriously?

Seriously. "This trend toward asking off-the-wall questions started in high tech a few years ago and has now emerged in interviews for jobs in a variety of fields," says John O'Connor, president of North Carolina-based CareerPro Inc., a professional career-coaching and branding company.

These questions are often brain teasers and can be anything from a complex, multilayered math and logic problem to a wacky question with no real answer. Some examples include:

  • How many rocks are on the face of the moon?

  • How many jellybeans can fit into a gallon jar?

  • Why are manhole covers round instead of square?

  • How many pounds of breakfast cereal are sold in the U.S. every year?

  • What are the decimal equivalents of 5/16 and 7/16?