10 Most Bizarre (Yet Real) Job Interview Questions

weird job interview questions Glassdoor.com recently published their list of the top 25, off-the-wall interview questions of 2010. The staff at Glassdoor culled these questions from tens of thousands oddball interview queries which job seekers sent to their publication. These questions are sure to make you laugh (assuming they don't make you cry).

However ridiculous these questions may seem, those hunting for jobs can make themselves wiser by studying these bombshells and preparing answers ahead of time.

Many of these questions were asked in situations where the applicant was applying for a position that required quite a bit of analytic thinking. The questions seemed to be aimed at determining the candidates' ability to think on the fly.

Here are the 10 questions we thought were the most bizarre:

1. "If you were shrunk to a size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?" Asked at Goldman Sachs. Making money, which is what Goldman Sachs does, depends on creative ways to leverage disequilibrium in markets. You are rewarded for identifying and using what your competitors can't.

2. "If you could be any superhero, who would it be?" Asked at At&T. The company depends on teamwork to design, produce and market products and services. A superhero like Superman focused on benefiting others is likely in the ballpark of right answers.

3. "How do you weigh an elephant without using a weigh machine?" Asked by IBM. The company markets services that allow for efficient ways to conduct business, including making assessments with incomplete data.

4. "Why do you think only a small percentage of the population makes over $150K?" Asked by New York Life. Your answer reveals both your political philosophy as well as how much fire you have in the belly.

5. "How many bottles of beer are drank in the city over the week?" Asked by The Nielson Company. Your approach to answering would show your feel for the kind of demographic data Nielson depends on.

6. "Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 how weird you are." Asked at Capital One. Since this financial company has lots of consumer interface, you would answer that you have a protean or flexible self that can accommodate diverse people's comfort levels. Instead of calling it "weird," you would frame it as "emotional intelligence."

7. "Explain to me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years. Asked at Boston Consulting. As a high-level analyst and problem solver, Boston Consulting is seeking someone who thinks on the macro level but can tie that to micro dynamics.

8. "How many traffic lights in Manhattan?" Asked by Argus Information & Advisory Services. Obviously, this is a test of your knowledge of reference tools and their strengths and limitations.

9."Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What are the minimum number of races required?" Asked at Bloomberg LP. You will demonstrate your mastery of probability theory, including how you might introduce other variables to assist with the prediction.

10. "How are M&M's made?" Asked by US Bank. Your approach to answering would demonstrate your understanding and assessment of production systems, ranging from globally sourcing materials to ensuring food and employee safety.

What is the strangest job interview question you've ever been asked? We'd love to get your take in the comments section.

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How many bottles of beer are "drank"? It's "drunk." What are the minimum number of races...? It's "What is the minimum number of races...." This lack of grammatical English puts me off.

August 19 2011 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hello, Melissa!

I was dismissed from my last job due to a medical condition. Yes, in Indiana they can do that. At ALL of my interviews since, I am asked what medical condition that was (cancer), if I am currently under a doctor's care (yes, for the next 5 years), what medications I am currently taking (vitamins and a diuretic), and if I plan on having other health issues in the future, (like I planned on it the first time.) dumbasses.

April 02 2011 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How to weigh an elephant? Fill my backyard pool to the brim overflow, Have the elephant jump in and hire a 1000 pygmies to lick up the water. Measure the fertility rate of change that resulted from being in the US and licking up non polluted water. Divide the World Health Organization mortality rate for Pygmies by the population increase and multiply that ......

March 09 2011 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here are the answers:

3=By submersion or asking it.
4= Lack of greed on the majoritys part.
5=equal to the number of inhabitants of the city
6= all of the above
7=Some lived, some died and everyone got their 15 minutes on Facebook.
8= Working or Non-working?
9=The 3 first are the fastest. 25 races should cover it.
10=From the inside out.

January 16 2011 at 4:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jeff at 8:23 PM. The answer is get a stopwatch and do it in five races or , assuming the horses stay just as fast no matter how many times you run them and you can't have the stopwatch, you have to run 11 races. You can't go at that problem trying to isolate the three fastest horses. you go at it by eliminating the 22 slowest horses. Run 5 races and keep the three fastest from each race which gives you 15 and you eliminate 10 for good. With 15 faster horses you have 3 races keeping the top 3 in each so now after 8 races you have the fastest 9 horses. Race #9 you get three faster horses out of five and you take the third fastest horse and have him race against the remaining 4 horses (race #10). Take those top 3 and the top 2 left from race #9 and you've narrowed it down to the top 5 horses. Just one more race (#11) will yield the 3 fastest horses in all eleven races by only eliminating weaker horses. Yeaaaaaaaa

January 07 2011 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chuck's comment

I went that route too, but Jeff is right... In the first round you get rid of all of the #4 and #5 finishers. By racing the winners in the second round, you can eliminate ALL horses from the 4th and 5th place finishers group, the #2 and #3 horse in the 3rd place finishers group and the #3 horse in the second place finishers group. This leaves 6 horses, but the number one horse doesn't need to race again as it is already determined to be the fastest.

January 14 2011 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cut the elephant into 5 lb chunks. number of chunks X 5. LOL

January 07 2011 at 11:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Elephant: stand the elephant in soft ground. Have it step away. Then measure the indentation his feet made in the ground. Next stand yourself in the soft ground, preferably on one foot so all your weight presses into the ground. Measure how deep your own foot left an impression. Then extrapolate. For example if you had a quarter inch depth, and you know you weigh 150 pounds, and say the elephant's were 4 inches (weight equally distributed on 4 legs), then the ratio is quarter inch to 16 inches, 150 pounds to "elephant weight". Of course this will be approximate, but quite close to the correct elephant weight.

January 07 2011 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

balance board. would take time. thousands of one pound bag of peanuts on one end, elephant (hungry) on the other...eventually, as he eats the peanuts, this system of reduction would tell you exactly how much he weighed. In essence, the elephant becomes the scale.

January 07 2011 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
outside the box

If you know how many bottles of beer are "drank" in the city over the week, you probably aren’t going to know how many traffic lights are in Manhattan, though there aren’t any in Manhattan Mall. That would make you the DUI un-superhero and your brain would be the size of the pencil eraser. You are probably thinking you are in the blender because you are always dizzy. How do you get out, ask for help, or take the fastest horse to an AA meeting. You weigh an Elephant without using a weigh machine by delegating the task, which means someone else can use the weigh machine, while you take care of more important issues, like contributing to the bottle count. The reason most people don’t make over $150k is because they are to busy reading articles like this one instead of being at the race track reading the Horse stats, which will tell you the 3 fastest horses, of the 25, without running any races, or you could just simply kill 22 of them. First the daddy M finds the mommy M. Then daddy M and mommy M do the sweet thing. Then baby M is born, but not knowing which to be, it takes on the symbol “&”, which stands for either M. Then the M&M family drives into the sunset in their Little Red Corvette. I cannot judge myself on a scale of 1 to 5 on how weird I am, but maybe we can. I cannot explain what has happened in this country in the last 10 years, but maybe one of our phone techs can give us an explanation. Call 1-800-out-source. Anyway, I have to go now. Luckily the blender I was in was on its side, so I’m just going to walk out.

January 07 2011 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Re: Horse Races - you are all wrong! Assuming that you don't have a watch and horses always run the same speed, you need 7 total races. After you race 5 groups of 5, you race all the winners to get the fastest horse in race 6. You then race the #2 and #3 horse from the original group the fastest horse came from, and the #2 horse from the group the second fastest horse came from, against the #2 and #3 horse from race 6. The top 2 horses in that seventh race are the #2 and #3 fastest. You can eliminate all the horses from the previous groups where the winnners finished #3,4,5 in race 6, because they could not be fast enough to beat the winning horses.

January 07 2011 at 8:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JSutton's comment

AND... (on the premise that all horses maintain the same speed in every race) the winner of the 7th race and overall second place finisher, can only be the #2 horse from the group the top horse came from in round 6 or the #2 horse in round 6. The overall third place finisher could be any of the remaining 4 horses.

January 14 2011 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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