Weird Interview Questions

by | 24.02.22

There are interview questions that are typical interview questions, questions that are difficult to answer and then there are questions that are just, well a bit weird. What makes an interviewer ask a bizarre question? Well, there are many reasons. For one thing interviewers know what you’re likely to have prepared for the interview and have been practicing responses to common interview questions. By asking something weird like “What’s your go-to karaoke song and why” the interviewer will catch you off guard which can provide them with an opportunity to see how you perform under pressure. Your response will also provide the employer with a peek at your thought process. Weird questions are typically designed not to have a right or wrong answer. Weird questions are designed to be unexpected and not fit the mould of typical interview questions. Here are some examples:

How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?

This question is asked to see if you can think outside what’s traditional or normal, it is also asked to see whether you are capable of entering a new working environment. A good answer to this question could be “if I was from Mars my problems would probably be very different from those on earth, but I’d deal with whatever problem I had in the same way by firstly researching the problem and then looking for the best remedy to resolve it. “

What do you think about garden gnomes?

This is a silly and ridiculous question. What it is intended for is to make you feel relaxed and to see a glimpse of your personality. There is no right answer to this question but if you want to show your humour by saying “If I could get a job as a gnome then I probably wouldn’t be here today talking to you “. If you are able to handle this random question with ease, then it shows you have an impressive ability to react quickly to bizarre circumstances.

Why are manholes round?

At first glance this question seems funny but actually its a good indicator of your intellect. Think about it. A round manhole cover can’t fall through a round manhole as the cover will always be larger than the hole itself. Additionally, a circular cover can be removed easily. By giving these facts as your answer you are demonstrating your ability to assess facts and provide logical solutions.

You have been given an elephant, you can’t give it away or sell it, what would you do with it?

This is a question that allows the interviewer to get a good sense of your reasoning  skills. Of course, there is no ‘right’ answer to this funny question but if it used to get an insight into how you think, prioritise and problem solve. A couple of good answers to this question could be “I would feed it and then ride it to work” or more sensibly “I don’t have anywhere to house an elephant so I wouldn’t accept it in the first place”. The interviewer is not looking for a specific answer here, they are trying to determine how well you think on your feet and how you handle yourself in unexpected situations.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?

You may be asked this question to test your creativity. However, your answer will give the interviewer an insight into your strengths and what type of person you are. Your answer could be something like “I would be an oak tree because they are strong and dependable “. It doesn’t really matter what tree you choose as long as you answer the question. Another example of a good answer would be “I would be an apple tree because it can be relied upon to produce fruit year after year”.

If you were shipwrecked on a deserted island, there was food and water there, what two items would you want to have with you?

An interviewer will ask this question in order to determine your priorities. For instance, if you say, “a kindle with unlimited books and a laptop” it shows different values from someone who says, “music and a bed”? While there is no right answer to this question the employer will want a candidate who showcases the ability to prioritize and think logically in a tough situation. So, if you were to say “I’d like to bring a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop with a wind generator to charge the batteries and a lighter. I could then do my work, keep in touch with my friend and use the lighter to start a fire to keep warm at night”.

Are you a hunter or a gather

Again this question is asked to gain an insight into you. The interviewer wants you to focus your answer about the specific role you are applying for. So if you are applying for a creative position the interviewer will want you to answer “gatherer” , they’ll want you support this by saying how much you like collecting data and information to produce wonderful things. Hunters and gatherers are two very different categories of people. This question can help an interviewer quickly discern what type of strengths and weaknesses you may have.

How many pound coins would fit into this room?

A brain teaser like this one is a good opportunity to see how a candidate can use logic to solve impossible challenges. What the interviewer wants you to say is something like “I’d need to measure how many pound coins fit length-way, width way and height-wise in the room, then I’d simply multiple those three numbers” By giving this answer you are demonstrating the ability to use simple maths to create formulas for more difficult problems.

If you had a choice between superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose?

On the surface this sounds like a question you were asked at school when you were 12. But some interviewers believe it to be an indicator of potential leadership ability as apparently 72% of surveyed leaders choosing the ability to try over being invisible. If you think about it this question is really asking “do you prefer to be in the spotlight or behind the scenes”

What was the last present you gave someone?

If an interviewer considers you stiff and formal, they may try to loosen you up by asking you a question like this. They are trying to gauge your personality and access you. Answer this question honestly for instance if the last present you brought was a ticket for a football game for your brother say so. This could create a connection with the person who is interviewing you particularly if they like football. Just be yourself when you answer this.

If you could compare yourself with an animal, which would it be and why?

If you are asked this question, use it as an opportunity to promote your strengths and highlight your good qualities. For instance, a good answer could be “I’d be a horse, horses are very strong and capable of working well independently as well as in a team” Do you see where you could go with this question. Use it to tell the interviewer.

So, if you are asked an interview question that seems bizarre, don’t panic. Stay calm, buy sometime if possible and before you answer think about the job you have applied for and remember that interview questions are designed to determine whether you have the skills to do the job.

Good Luck

Angela Burton