When walking into a job or internship interview, there are some standard questions you’re sure to be asked. “Tell me about yourself.” “Why do you want to work for us?” “Tell me about a time you had to lead a team under pressure.”
No matter how many times you rehearse the answers to these, you can never be fully prepared for some truly off-the-wall questions interviewers may throw at you. After picking the brains of real people and finding some truly oddball lists online, here are a few of the most weird, strange, and downright “WTF?!”-inducing interview questions you may just be asked next time you’re up for a new position.
“If you were a leftover in the fridge, what would you be and why?” This was asked to my friend Alicia, 22, in an interview for an event planning internship on campus. Apparently there is no one correct response to this question, rather it is asked to show your creativity and ability to think on your feet. After consulting with a few colleagues, we decided the best answer would be cheese, because it only gets better with age; or pizza, because nobody forgets about leftover pizza.
“Are you comfortable wearing a mini skirt to work?” My co-worker Aubree, 27, was asked this during an interview at a local casino. This question may be illegal, depending on where you work. If it’s anywhere other than a serving position where the known uniform is a mini skirt, hit the highway, just like she did.
“On a scale of one to 10, rate how weird you are.” This was asked during an interview with Capital One for an operations analyst position. You don’t want to say one and seem uptight, and if you answer 10 right away, you’ll be painted as the office crazy. Answering five is pretty blah, so you’re going to have to get creative with this one and think of why you consider yourself a 6.5.
The following question was posed in an interview to my friend Kevin, 22, for a fraternity on campus: “In one weekend, you’re supposed to attend our chapter’s formal, you promised a friend you’d go to their birthday party, it’s your one year anniversary with your girlfriend, and your grandmother just died. What event do you choose to attend?” I would hope that in all situations, a family death trumps everything else, though we really have no idea how one would answer this. Invite your girlfriend to the formal as your anniversary date, drop by the birthday party before or after the event, and send flowers to the funeral home? In any situation, someone’s going to lose.
When asked any interview question, truly weird or not, take a deep breath and think of your answer before you say it. The interviewer knows that you immediately won’t know how many smart phones there are in New York City (asked in a real interview with Google), so it’s ok to take a second and say, “That’s a great question,” or, “I don’t know, but I could Google it!” (Ok, don’t do that, unless Google is looking to hire smart asses these days.)
More often than not, weird interview questions are asked to see how you perform under pressure, or how creative you can be when presented the unexpected. This article, from the CBS Business Network, suggests that if all else fails, perhaps you don’t want to be working for a company that would ask “How are M&M’s made?,” which was incidentally asked by a US Bank interviewer.
Some see non-standard interview questions as unfair or a waste of time, but if you really want the job, have fun with them. Realize that probably every other candidate was just as deer-in-the-headlights as you, and take every wacky question as an opportunity to fire back a wacky answer that will make you stand out from the rest of the candidates.
To see more panic-inducing interview questions, head on over here. It’s three minutes well spent– they will truly scare the pants off you and get your brain fired up for the day.