Crazy Answers To Interview Questions (That Got People Jobs)

answers to interview questions "Always act enthusiastic during the interview." "Never badmouth a previous employer." These are the standard tips that career coaches give, but many people violate all kinds of common-sense rules in answering interview questions -- and get hired anyway. A recent thread on Quora, the question-and-answer website popular with Silicon Valley execs, provides plenty of examples. The question that kicked off the thread was, "What is the craziest thing you've said at a job interview -- and got the job anyway?" It prompted a long list of funny anecdotes -- all of which suggests that sometimes acting off-the-wall pays off.

Say You Don't Want The Job
Gil Yehuda, a Yahoo employee, said that during a job interview he once asked the chief technology officer for the most important responsibility of the five duties listed in the job description. The answer he gave was contradicted by several other execs he spoke to. So when the recruiter later offered him the job, he turned her down, saying, "I can't take a job if the company doesn't know what they are looking for. You need to figure out what you want before you make an offer." She pushed him to take the job and explained to him why his reluctance was enticing. "I was the first candidate to realize they did not have a consensus view of what they were trying to hire," Yehuda wrote. He got the job.

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Only Answer Some Of The Questions
Andy Johns, a product manager, was interviewing for a job at Facebook, the company notorious for asking brain-teasing interview questions. The entire day had gone smoothly, and then it was his last interview. An exec walked into the room, and without introducing himself or even saying hello, just sat down and said, quite seriously, "I have five questions for you." Johns, in an attempt to "lighten the mood," quipped, "I have three correct answers for you." The exec didn't laugh and continued on with his questions, and Johns said that he only answered three of them correctly. He still got the job.
More: Why Everything You Learned About Interviewing Is Worthless

Talk About How Much You Hated Your Last Job
Dan Halliday, an HR manager, says he told "the complete truth" about why he was fired from Kohl's. "I explained how I had given up because of the environment of zombies ... how I was going to file a lawsuit over my pay; how I have zero ambition to ever be promoted into leadership again, and how all I wanted to do was make a ton of money and enjoy my life with as little workplace politics as possible." Not only did he get hired -- but he is still at the company "and loving the decision."

Explain You're Pregnant And Have No Idea if You'll Want To Return To Work
Kati Sipp, a union organizer, says that she not only told a prospective employer that she was six months pregnant, but when he asked her during a job interview if she'd return to work after having the baby, she admitted that she wasn't sure how she'd feel after giving birth. "I just decided, what the hell, I'm not going to want to work for anyone who would discriminate against a pregnant woman anyway," she wrote. She not only got hired, but she was able to bring her daughter to work with her twice a week until she was a toddler.

Admit You're Clueless
Joan Heller was being considered for a "high level job" developing new kinds of assessments for the state of California's K-12 students. Her potential boss asked her during the job interview how she'd approach the task. After hesitating for a moment, she responded, "I have no idea." "You're perfect!" she exclaimed.

Read the rest of the Quora thread here.

How about you? What was the craziest answer you ever gave in a job interview?


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Filed under: Interview Questions

Pam Kruger

Editor-in-Chief

Pam is the editor-in-chief of AOL Jobs.

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Interview Success

This is a great selection of answers, Pam! The underlying theme of these responses is they are different. In other words, they stand out from others because they were honest and memorable. When job seekers employ this strategy, they’ll typically find a more positive outcome.

May 01 2013 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Interview Success's comment
Apikoros18

I think that while they are all different, they are all the same in the most important aspect: Every single one was straight forward honest. That, to me as a staffing expert, is more important than anything else.

May 02 2013 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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