Whatever happened to asking a candidate about their skills, eh?! Here are 17 of the toughest interview questions...
Job interviews can be scary – clamming up, stuttering, blushing or accidentally swearing, it’s easy to feel like you’ve blown it before you’ve even got going.
Then there are those dreaded, awkward questions that you know you just can’t give a straight answer to. Finding an appropriate reply to ‘What’s your biggest weakness?’ (best not to admit that you don’t take well to authority figures and hate teamwork) and putting a positive spin on ‘Tell me about a time when you made a mistake?’ is bad enough – but what about when the interviewer asks you how you’d get a hippo out of a hole, or what you’d do if you saw the boss kissing a co-worker?
Take a look at our pick of some of the toughest questions ever. How would you answer them?
1. On a scale from one to 10, rate me as an interviewer, and explain your answer.
2. If you were a tree, what kind would you be?
3. How would you sell a fridge to an Eskimo?
4. Do you drive through amber traffic lights?
5. What’s more important to you – to be right, or to be liked?
6. How many balls would it take to fill this room?
7. Are you a nice person?
8. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever gotten away with?
9. What would you do if you found out the company was doing something illegal?
10. Have you ever stolen a pen from work?
11. How many calories are in a supermarket?
12. Is Batman a superhero?
13. Which song best describes you?
14. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
15. Describe the colour green to someone who is blind.
16. Which two celebrities would you like to be your parents, and why?
17. You have 17 red and 17 blue balls, and you remove two at a time. If the two are the same colour, add in one extra blue ball. If they are different colours, add in an extra red ball. What colour is the final ball removed?
So why do some employers ask wildcard questions? Are they trying to catch candidates out? Actually, these seemingly random, oddball questions are designed to demonstrate how candidates handle pressure, whether they can think creatively and logically and how their mind works. And often, there isn’t a right or wrong answer – it’s how you answer that’s important.
For example, a candidate’s answer to ‘How would you get an elephant into a fridge?’ could reveal whether they overcomplicate things. The simplest solution would be to open the fridge door, and put the elephant in.
These sorts of questions are also a great way to get to know the candidate and their personality, without asking overly personal questions. The answers may also give the employer a sense of whether the candidate would be a good fit for the company – and whether they have a sense of humour!