11 Of The Oddest Interview Questions Of 2011
Perhaps the most anxiety-producing part of any job application process is the interview. In part, that's because job seekers have little way of knowing just what kinds of questions interviewers will be asking.
Further, today's savvy employers have moved beyond the archetypal "Tell me where you see yourself in five years" kind of query to more sophisticated and even quirky questions that can help them quickly discern whether a candidate is the right person for the job and the organization.
With that in mind, Glassdoor, an online jobs and career forum, has compiled its annual list of Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions based on the tens of thousands of submissions from job candidates during the past year. Here is a sampling of them:
- "How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday?" -- Asked at Google Inc., Vendor Relations Manager candidate.
- "Just entertain me for five minutes; I'm not going to talk." -- Asked at Acosta Sales & Marketing, leadership development program associate candidate.
- "If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?" -- Asked at Hewlett-Packard Co., product marketing manager candidate.
- "Given 20 'destructible' light bulbs (which break at a certain height), and a building with 100 floors, how do you determine the height that the light bulbs break?" -- Asked at Qualcomm Inc., engineering candidate.
- "What do you think of garden gnomes?" -- Asked at Trader Joe's (grocery chain), team member candidate.
- "Is your college GPA reflective of your potential?" -- Asked at the Advisory Board Co., strategic marketing associate candidate.
- "Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer?" -- Asked at Deloitte, analyst candidate.
- "How would you cure world hunger?" -- Asked at Amazon.com, software developer candidate.
- "Room, desk and car -- which do you clean first?" -- Asked at Pinkberry Inc. (yogurt chain), shift lead candidate.
- "Does life fascinate you?" -- Asked at Ernst & Young, tax analyst candidate.
- "Please spell 'diverticulitis.'" -- Asked at EMSI Engineering Inc., account manager candidate.
Also, though employment candidates should be ready to take on some challenging and oddball interview questions, Glassdoor says job seekers should also expect and be prepared to be asked some basic or common interview questions, such as:
- "What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
- "Why did you apply for this job?"
And, of course:
- "Where do you see yourself in five years?"
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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