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You’re Hired! But First, Answer The 20 Craziest Job Interview Questions

Submitted by on July 10, 2011 – 12:02 pmOne Comment

Is that your final answer? Maybe you want to phone a friend?

With unemployment rates constantly on the rise, it’s no wonder nailing the job interview is crucial in scoring your next gig. But these days, the questions you’ll have to answer go way beyond your past job experience, salary requirements or where you see yourself in five years. As employers hunt for the most prestigious candidates, we can’t help but notice that their questions are getting a little bit weird.

To help you get one step ahead of the competition, Glassdoor.com has compiled a list of real but shockingly odd questions. Think you’ve heard it all? Think again?

  • Procter & Gamble: Sell me an invisible pen.
  • Facebook: Twenty-five racehorses, no stopwatch, five tracks.  Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.
  • Citigroup: What is your strategy at table tennis?
  • Google: You are climbing a staircase. Each time you can either take one step or two. The staircase has n steps. In how many distinct ways can you climb the staircase?
  • Capital One: How do you evaluate Subway’s five-foot long sub policy?
  • Gryphon Scientific: How many cocktail umbrellas are there in a given time in the United States?
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car: Would you be okay hearing “no” from seven out of 10 customers?
  • Goldman Sachs: Suppose you had eight identical balls. One of them is slightly heavier and you are given a balance scale. What’s the fewest number of times you have to use the scale to find the heavier ball?
  • Towers Watson: Estimate how many planes are there in the sky.
  • Lubin Lawrence: If you could describe Hershey, Godiva and Dove chocolate as people, how would you describe them?
  • Pottery Barn: If I was a genie and could give you your dream job, what and where would it be?
  • Kiewit Corp.: What did you play with as a child?
  • VWR International: How would you market a telescope in 1750 when no one knows about orbits, moons etc.?
  • Diageo North America: If you walk into a liquor store to count the unsold bottles, but the clerk is screaming at you to leave, what do you do?
  • Brown & Brown Insurance: How would you rate your life on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • Jane Street Capital: What is the smallest number divisible by 225 that consists of all 1’s and 0’s?
  • UBS: If we were playing Russian roulette and had one bullet, I randomly spun the chamber and fired but nothing was fired. Would you rather fire the gun again or respin the chamber and then fire on your turn?
  • Merrill Lynch: Tell me about your life from kindergarten onwards.
  • Susquehanna International Group: Five guys, all of different ages, enter a bar and take a seat at a round table. What is the probability that they are seated in ascending order of age?

Tried coming up with a rationale answer to some of these irrational questions? Remember it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game that matters, aka for employers there usually is no right or wrong answer. Usually, the interviewer simply wants to see if you can think quick off your feet. So take a deep breathe and try to keep your mind out of the gutter when answering our favorite question: So what did you play with as a child?

Keep your cool and you’ll hear those two magic words: “You’re Hired!”

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