The Top 10 Strangest Interview Questions
Glassdoor released their list of Top 10 Oddball Interview Questions for 2015 and some of those strange questions were actually asked by hiring managers and interviewers at Stanford University, Coldstone Creamery, Airbnb, and other desirable places to work.> Find a job in human resources
> Find a job in journalism
> Find a job in recruiting
> Find a job in administration
So why are companies in almost every industry asking these strange questions? They may seem random, but they have a definite purpose.
"The reasons why companies ask these challenging, weird, brainteaser questions are simple," explains Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor Career Trends Analyst. "To test a candidate's critical thinking skills, to see how they problem solve on the spot, and as one extra way to help differentiate one candidate from another candidate. If you have two candidates that are virtually identical on paper, asking them really tough questions can be one way to figure out who is a better critical thinker."
Now we know why companies are asking these questions, but what is the right way to answer them? Dobroski says that the worst way to answer is to say "I don't know" or give a one-word response. OK, so maybe you have an elaborate, analytical answer for why Batman would beat Spiderman in a fight, but how are you supposed to know how many people flew out of Chicago last year? Once again, don't say "I don't know" or throw out a wild guess.
"Even if you don't know the exact answer, what you want to do is start sounding out how you would come to the solution. Start saying how you would tackle the challenge out loud, so they can see your thinking skills," says Dobroski.
So in the case of the Chicago airport puzzle, ask the interviewer what kind of resources you would have to figure out the answer. Verbalize out loud how if the internet was an available resource, you would look up how many planes fly out of Chicago O'Hare Airport a day, or whether the airport had statistics available online, and what kind of statistics you would be looking for.
Speaking of the internet, in this day and age, there's no excuse for not doing your research on a potential employer. For many companies, a simple search might reveal the type of questions you could be asked, or what kind of setting the interview will be taking place.
So check out the list of Glassdoor's Top 10 Oddball Interview Questions, as well as their Top 10 Oddball Interview Questions in Tech. If you have a big job interview coming up, practice them out loud with your friends and family. Even if your interviewers don't ask you for your favorite 90s jam, you'll be warming up your brain and mind. And if they do, you'll be ready.
1. "What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?" – Airbnb Trust and Safety Investigator job candidate (Portland, OR). More Airbnb interview questions.
2. "What's your favorite 90s jam?" – Squarespace Customer Care job candidate (Portland, OR). More Squarespace interview questions.
3. "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?" – Dropbox Rotation Program job candidate (location n/a). More Dropbox interview questions.
4. "Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?" – Stanford University Medical Simulationist job candidate (Palo Alto, CA). More Stanford University interview questions.
5. "If you had a machine that produced $100 dollars for life, what would you be willing to pay for it today?" – Aksia Research Analyst job candidate (New York, NY). More Aksia interview questions.
6. "What did you have for breakfast?" – Banana Republic Sales Associate job candidate (New York, NY). More Banana Republic interview questions.
7. "Describe the color yellow to somebody who's blind." – Spirit Airlines Flight Attendant job candidate (Fort Lauderdale, FL). More Spirit Airlines interview questions.
8. "If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jellybeans, what would you do?" – Bose IT Support Manager job candidate (Framingham, MA). More Bose interview questions.
9. "How many people flew out of Chicago last year?" – Redbox Software Engineer II job candidate (Oakbrook Terrace, IL). More Redbox interview questions.
10. "What's your favorite Disney Princess?" – Coldstone Creamery Crew Member job candidate (Miami, FL). More Coldstone Creamery interview questions.
2. "What's your favorite 90s jam?" Squarespace Customer Care job candidate (Portland, OR). More Squarespace interview questions.
3. "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?" Dropbox Rotation Program job candidate (location n/a). More Dropbox interview questions.
4. "How many people flew out of Chicago last year?²" Redbox Software Engineer II job candidate (Oakbrook Terrace, IL). More Redbox interview questions.
5. "How much do you charge to wash every window in Seattle?" Facebook Online Sales Operations job candidate (Chicago, IL). More Facebook interview questions.
6. "Given 25 swimmers and a pool with five lanes, what is the minimum number of heats needed to determine the three fastest swimmers in the group?" CKM Advisors Data Scientist job candidate (location n/a). More CKM Advisors interview questions.
7. "If you were a Muppet, which would you be?" TicketNetwork Executive Support job candidate (location n/a). More TicketNetwork interview questions.
8. "How many gas stations are there in America?" Zappos Family Senior Financial Analyst job candidate (location n/a). More Zappos Family interview questions.
9. "You have a 1 mile long x 1 mile wide private island that you wish to turn into a resort. A plane requires a 2-mile long runway to take off. What do you do?" Riot Games QA Analyst job candidate (location n/a). More Riot Games interview questions.
10. "Why is the earth round?" Twitter Software Engineer job candidate (location n/a). More Twitter interview questions.