10 Most Bizarre (Yet Real) 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 analyst and problem solver, Boston Consulting is seeking someone who thinks on the macro level but can tie that to micro dynamics.. As a high-level
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 andsafety.
What is the strangest job interview question you've ever been asked? We'd love to get your take in the comments section.
Jane Genova, coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializes in transitions. Her talk on professional shifts at the New York State Bar Association has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY. Her latest book is OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. She blogs on the subject at http://janegenova.com, http://lawandmore.typepad.com, http://careertransitions.typepad.com and http://over-50.typepad.com.more...