After submitting your resume and locking in an interview with your dream company, you begin to panic — like Kermit-the-Frog-wailing-your-hands-in-the-air panic. You want to ace the interview and sign on the dotted line, but you won’t get very far without doing a little research and picking out the perfect outfit.
However, lately, it feels impossible to prep for an interview.
Similar to trying to study for an exam without a study guide, you don’t know what kind of questions they’re going to throw your way. Thankfully, you came to the right spot. We’ve gathered the top 15 most bizarre questions an interviewer could ask you and how you should answer them so you don’t have to break a sweat.
Are you a pen or a pencil?
No, your interviewer isn’t trying to be poetic.
The reason why they’re asking you this question is because they want to know what type of personality you have. According to CNN, choose to be a pen if you’re authoritative and bold. However, say you’re a pencil if you’re the type who’s creative and loves to think and rethink a project from different angles.
You're a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?
While this question seems fun, you want to somehow relate your work experience into your answer.
For instance, try to answer the question in such a way that it demonstrates a type of skill you may have. Correlate the color to your personality or work ethic, so the interviewer can better understand if you’re a right fit for the company.
You have a birthday cake and have exactly three slices to cut it into eight equal pieces. How do you do it?
This type of question screams problem-solving.
Essentially, your possible future boss wants to know how you think outside of the box. While there could be multiple ways to cut into the cake, according to Glassdoor contributors, you can “make two cuts to slice it into quarters. Then stack the four quarters and slice them all in half using your last cut.” Easy as pie... err... cake.
What would the name of your debut album be?
Urban Outfitters used to ask candidates this question to explore their creativity and get them talking. Have fun with it!
What is the probability of rolling a sum of 10 with two dice?
For a question like this, don’t be afraid to ask for paper and a pencil. The interviewer is evaluating your comfort with numbers, so just work the problem…
If you roll two dice, there are 6 × 6 = 36 possible results. Of them, only three sum up to 10 (4 + 6, 5 + 5, or 6 + 4). 3 out of 36 is the same as 1 out of 12, so you’d have a roughly 8% chance of rolling a sum of 10.
How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?
This is essentially another strange way for your possible future employer to figure out how you problem-solve in difficult situations.
While there’s no real answer to this question, you could state that you’ll conduct research to see when it get’s cold in Florida or create a Winter Wonderland event for people to try the brand’s hot cocoa. The more creative you get, the better.
How many tennis balls can you fit into a limousine?
Even though you probably know this will never actually happen on the job, the interviewer wants to know how you’ll set this idea in motion. Pro tip: don’t be afraid to ask for a pen and paper. Your enthusiasm may impress the person who’s interviewing you. Stay cool and calm, calculate an estimate of the area inside the limo, then make an assumption about how many tennis balls you could fit into one square foot of space and do the math.
Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?
Whole Foods has been known to use this question. You might want to start by clarifying that you'd prefer not to fight anyone (all employers love good team players). But if it really came down to it, your chances are probably better against a horse sized duck. At least it would be one on one.
How would you describe this job to a child?
The interviewer is testing to see if you've done your homework and really understand the job that you're applying for. Avoid buzzwords and industry lingo. Start with the basics: what does the company do? Then explain how you'd fit in.
How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?
Weird questions are meant to keep you on your toes, you know, just like the job you’re applying for.
However, the best way to go about answering these not-so-typical questions is to stay calm and confidently talk about your idea. For the above question, you can fire off a mathematical solution or use your creative noggin by saying that you would use a shrink ray to make the elephant smaller. Either way, show off a skill your interviewer would be pleased to know.
Would you rather win at Jeopardy or Survivor?
While this may seem like a harmless question to answer, you don’t want to ask which one has a higher payout. However, you do want to explain why you picked the one you picked. Are you the adventurous type who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty? Or are you the type who likes to prepare in advance? Be honest with your answers and relate it to your skills, and you’ll do just fine.
Who is your favorite Disney princess?
While this is already a hard question to answer (because they’re all great, duh), the way you decide to answer this question could depict the type of qualities you look for in other team members, or if you’re a good cultural fit.
You're president for a day, what's the first thing you would do?
It can be a little tough to answer this question since you don’t really want to talk about politics during your job interview. However, it’s a smart idea to explain how you would approach the leadership role. What would be your top priorities and how would you execute them?
Essentially, the interviewer is looking for a unique and analytical response.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how lucky are you?
This question offers a perfect opportunity to show some humility and gratefulness. Stay positive!
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be? And why?
Shauna Causey shared this as her favorite interview question on Quora. She explained, “Yes, this sounds like such an unnecessary interview question at first, but I've learned more about people by asking this question than almost any other question. Before I bring somebody in, I know they're already qualified on paper. So much of a job is about attitude and culture fit and this question brings out both of those elements. It also (hopefully) makes the interviewee smile. If it doesn't, I know they're not a good fit.”
If you were a pizza delivery man how would you benefit from scissors?
When it comes to weird questions like these, it’s totally normal to take a few minutes to think about your answer.
Be thoughtful but smart. Offer creative ways you can use scissors for your job. For instance, you could tell the interviewer how you can use the scissors to cut the coupons for the customers. Show the interviewer how you would think under pressure. The interviewer will be impressed with how thorough you are with your answer.
What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?
Believe it or not, Trader Joe's once asked a candidate this very question. Folks have suggested a variety of fun answers, ranging from "Ask him if he needed help finding what he was shopping for" to "Check the bar code on the penguin and move it into the poultry isle."
You buy coffee and a doughnut for $4. The coffee costs $3 more than the doughnut. How much did the doughnut cost?
The answer is simple but tricky. Do the math. The doughnut costs $0.50.
Estimate how many pet dogs there are in the United States?
Estimation questions are designed to show how you break down a problem. Start with high-level facts and assumptions, then drill down. For instance, you might start with the fact that there are almost 350 million people in the USA. Dogs are usually shared within households, so you’ll need to make assumption about the average number of people per house. Let’s say it is about 3 people per household. Next, make an assumption about the percentage of homes with dogs. Feel free to base this on your own experiences (maybe half of your friends and family have dogs). Some dog owners have more than one dog, so round up.
350 million divided by 3, then multiplied by 50% and rounded up = around 75 million dogs.
Which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?
Watch out for trick questions. Both weigh the same (one pound).
What would your pet say about you if I asked it for a reference?
Even if you don't have a pet, play along and answer the question. Just say something like, "Right now, i don't own a pet, but if I did, I think it'd say..."