Have you ever sat in an interview and wondered why somebody was asking you a slightly left field question?
Although you probably don’t realise it, there may well be a good reason why you are being asked something that seems completely irrelevant at the time.
Two tips for spotting trick job interview questions:
All too often some questions can feel like an exercise in catching you out.
Fortunately it is possible to prepare so that you’re ready to respond and give as positive a response as you can to those trick interview questions. Here’s how to spot them:
1. If it involves imagining yourself as something (e.g. What biscuit would you be if you were a biscuit?)
These interview questions may sound daft, but they are aimed at learning something about how you see yourself.
So instead of giving the temptingly easy silly answer (“Squashed fly (Garibaldi) biscuit because I feel downtrodden most of the time”) focus on something that will communicate a positive message about you.
2. If it’s weird and leaves you feeling a bit confused (e.g Yellow is over here. Blue is over there. Where are you?)
At first you’ll be waiting for the punchline, but many of these interview questions are about seeing how you are at blue sky thinking or at responding to more obscure topics.
The best thing to do is to respond in character with the question and take it seriously, again whilst aiming to give a good flavour of your character.
With these in mind, we have put together the top 100 Most Ridiculous Job Interview Questions Ever asked (genuine examples).
Cue ridiculous interview questions…
1. If you could be Batman or Robin, which one would you be?
2. What football team do you Support? – Why them?
3. Do you prefer cats or dogs?
4. Why on earth are you here today?
5. What was the most traumatic experience to happen in your personal life?
6. Sing a song that best describes you.
7. When you go on holiday, when do you pack your case?
8. What would I find in your fridge right now?
9. How would you explain a database in three sentences to your eight year old nephew?
10. If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you any position on their planet what would you want?
11. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?
12. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
13. If I assembled three of your format supervisors in a room and asked them about you, what would they say about you that you would say is not true?
14. How would you design a spice rack for a blind person?
15. If you were a character from Star Wars, which one would you be?
16. Sell me this glass of water.
17. What has been your most bizarre life experience?
18. Why are manhole covers round?
19. What do you think would be a fitting epitaph on your gravestone?
20. What’s the most interesting holiday you’ve ever had?
21. What would you choose as your last meal?
22. How would you define your personal work-life balance in terms of ratio (50/50 70/30 etc)?
23. Given the numbers 1 to 1,000, what is the minimum number of guesses needed to find a specific number, if you are given the hint ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ for each guess you make?
24. Using a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how weird you are.
25. Explain quantum electrodynamics in two minutes, starting now.
26. How many balloons would fit in this room?
27. If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?
28. You have a bouquet of flowers. All but two are roses, all but two are daisies, and all but two are tulips. How many flowers do you have?
29. What is the philosophy of martial arts?
30. Explain to me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years
31. If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
32. How do you weigh an elephant without using a scale?
33. If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner?
34. How many bricks are there in Shanghai? Consider only residential buildings.
35. You have five bottles of pills. One bottle has 9 gram pills; the others have 10 gram pills. You have a scale that can be used only once. How can you find out which bottle contains the 9 gram pills?
36. How would you market table tennis balls if table tennis itself became obsolete? List many ways, then pick one and go into detail.
37. How many Smartphones are there in London?
38. You are in charge of 20 people. Organise them to figure out how many bicycles were sold in your area last year.
39. Why do you think only a small percentage of the population makes over £125,000 a year?
40. You have three boxes. One contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled so that no label accurately identifies the contents of any of the boxes. Opening just one box, and without looking inside, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?
41. How many ball bearings, each one inch in diameter, can fit inside a 747 aircraft?
42. You need to check that your friend, James, has your correct phone number but you cannot ask him directly. You must write the question on a card which and give it to Heidi who will take the card to James and return the answer to you. What must you write on the card, besides the question, to ensure James can encode the message so that Heidi cannot read your phone number?
43. If you were given a free full-page ad in the newspaper and had to sell yourself in six words or less, how would the ad read?
44. How do you feel about affirmative action?
45. You are given 2 eggs, you have access to a 100-story building. Eggs can be very hard or very fragile which means they may break if dropped from the first floor or may not even break if dropped from the 100th floor. Both eggs are identical. You need to figure out the highest floor of a 100-story building an egg can be dropped without breaking. The question is how many drops you need to make. You are allowed to break 2 eggs in the process.
46. Are you a cat person?
47. If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you have?
48. How do I rate as an interviewer?
49. If you were a bicycle, what part would you be?
50. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
51. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?
52. What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
53. What would I find in your refrigerator?
54. Can you tell a joke?
55. Who do you like the best, your mum or your dad?
56. What makes you angry?
57. If you were an animal/a can of soup/some other random object, which one would you be?
58. Tell me about the worst boss you ever had.
59. What is the temperature when it’s twice as cold as zero degrees?
60. How would you describe yourself in three words?
61. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you?
62. What were the causes of the First World War?
63. What are the first three things you’d do on your first day at work here?
64. What kind of people do you dislike?
65. Do you like Jerry or Tom?
66. What video games do you play?
67. What would you do when you have learnt that your boat is out of oil?
68. Why do you think Charles Chaplin is famous?
69. Which ancient place would you like to go?
70. What will you do if you have a time machine?
71. What would you like to ask from the God?
72. How would you react if you are transformed into a fish?
73. If you are a god what would you do to the world?
74. Which super power do you like to have and why?
75. If you could speak to one type of animal, what would it be?
76. What do you like to wear when you go to work?
77. Tell me about your recent travelling experience.
78. If you were a t-shirt, what colour would you be and why?
79. Who would win a battle between a ninja and a pirate?
80. What was the last book you read?
81. Can you describe an atom?
82. How would you move Mount Fuji?
83. If two cars are travelling in a two lap race on a track of any length, one going 60 mph and the other going 30 mph, how fast will the slower car have to go to finish at the same time as the faster car?
84. Are your parents disappointed with your career aspirations?
85. Tell me how you would determine how many house painters there are in the UK?
86. What would it cost to rent Hyde Park for commercial purposes?
87. If I put you in a sealed room with a phone that had no dial tone, how would you fix it?
88. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
89. If both a taxi and a limo were priced the exact same, which one would you choose?
90. How would you measure 9 minutes using only a 4 minute and 7 minute hourglass?
91. What are five uncommon uses of a brick, not including building, layering, or a paperweight?
92. What is the probability of throwing 11 and over with two dices?
93. How many light bulbs are in this building?
94. How would you sell me eggnog in the summer?
95. If you saw someone steal a tin of beans in Tesco, would you report it?
96. An apple costs 20 pence, an orange costs 40 pence, and a banana costs 60 pence, how much is a pear?
97. You are hosting a dinner party and must invite 3 famous people. Who would you choose and why?
98. Is a Jaffa cake a biscuit or cake?
99. What is the worst decision you have ever made?
100. How many times a day do a clock’s hands overlap?
My mind is blown.
Do people really think Jaffa cakes are biscuits?
…Are they biscuits?
These interview questions really are ridiculous.
But are they the worst you’ve heard? Tell us your story in the comments below – can’t wait to hear it!