You know a company is cool when they start asking crazy interview questions. Imagine, you fill out an application and get invited to an interview. When all of a sudden, you get hit with some of the craziest interview questions that sound nothing at all like the common interview questions you hear all the time!
The questions leave you speechless, laughing, or wondering how these companies grew in the first place. But, as always, there is a method to the madness. Check out some of these crazy interview questions asked by big companies. You will not find webinars or posts on LinkedIn with advice on how to handle these curveball questions.
1. “25 racehorses, no stopwatch. 5 tracks. Figure out the top three fastest horses in the fewest number of races.”
This one was asked by Facebook. It looks like a math question. But is it really? What would you answer? Perhaps the interviewer is trying to see the way you start thinking when it comes time to solve problems. Be sure to not show any job interview anxiety.
2. “Why are manhole covers round?”
This interesting question has been asked by Google. You never really think about things like this...or do you? Is this a trivia question or does Google want you to work in a sewer? Unless you want to change industries? Do not put that much thought into it and answer as you see fit.
3. “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?”
You are applying to work at Apple and then they ask you a question that sounds more related to Dominos Pizza. What does this question really have to do with the job at hand and your career? You had already discovered delivering pizza was not the career path you intended to stay on!
4. “How would you solve problems if you were from Mars?”
As far as we know, there are no Martians on Earth solving problems. But this question from Amazon seems to imply there could be. Do you know any Martians? Probably not, so how do you think you will answer this interview question? Do you have a powerful job reference from Mars?
5. “How would you test an elevator?”
If you were to interview at Microsoft, this question would certainly throw you off...or would it? Questions that “sound crazy” usually do because it involves seeing or hearing something you are not familiar with. Perhaps, an engineer or someone in the tech industry could answer the question. Maybe a scientist or an elevator repairman? This question is truly testing someone seeking jobs in the tech industry.
6. “How would you find the words that became obsolete in the English language between 16th and 17th century? You may use a search engine.”
What does 16th or 17th-century language have to do with driving people from place to place? Uber wants to know and you are not sure if they are testing your interpersonal skills or your knowledge of 16th century English Literature.
7. “What do you think of garden gnomes?”
Trader Joe’s asked this question. To this point, you may be seeing that these questions require answers that do more to show how you think, your personality, and how your work experience causes you to answer them. You certainly can tell a great deal about a person by the way they answer random questions.
8. “You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?”
This question from Urban Outfitters may be based on a psychology test used to assess personalities. There is no wrong answer to this one. There is no right answer. So, just be honest.
9. “What’s the color of money?”
If you answer, “A film from the 1980’s starring Paul Newman and Tom Cruise”, the American Heart Association will understand many things about you. If you answer, “A beautiful shade of green” you also give away something about yourself. You could have another answer. Regardless, the company will know a lot about you.
10. “How would you direct someone else on how to cook an omelet?”
A question like this from PETCO may be secretly geared towards finding out how you manage people and what you sound like when you do. It is a simple answer but can you direct the team to do it in a way that everyone understands? Are you a leader people will follow?
11. “On a scale from 1 to 10, rate me as an interviewer.”
You may be a people pleaser who wants to give a compliment and quickly blurts out, “10”. But does the rating mean “greatest” or “worst”? The way you answer this question from Kraft Foods explains a great deal about your personality, analytical thinking, experience with research and lots of other hidden meanings.
Just like every other interview question on this list, the only right answer is the one that gets you the job. But since you cannot predict the interviewer’s response, all you can do is be yourself and answer with honesty.
What are these companies doing? They want to see how you react to pressure, think on your feet or how you come to a conclusion. Most importantly, they want to see:
- Do you panic?
- Do you get angry?
- Do you give up easily?
- How do you approach work?
- Do you get your brain working in the right direction before answering?
There is no “right” answer. But there is definitely a “wrong” answer. The toughest part is that there is no set of rules for answering these types of questions and there is no telling when or why these questions will be asked.
The only thing to do is keep your cool, bring a winning mindset, do not panic, stay positive and get your mind to work in the right direction. Show employers you are ready for anything.