11 interview questions from high-flying bosses

11 interview questions from high-flying bosses

Curveball questions are usually advised against in job interviews, with their ability to make a confident candidate squirm and having absolutely nothing to do with the role at hand.

However, if a jobseeker has the impressive credentials to land an interview with a superboss, they’ll have to be well-versed in the art of the interview and able to handle an irrelevant to the job question which calls for creativity, logic and skill on the spot.

Collated by Business Insider, the list gathers 11 tactical questions used by some of most successful business people.

1. Are you the smartest person you know?

Larry Ellison, Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO hires only exceptionally talented and intelligent employees and coached his recruiters to find exactly that, writes Business Professor, Sydney Finkelstein in his new book, "Superbosses." If the candidate answered "yes," they'd get hired. If they answered "no," the recruiter would ask, "Who is?" and then try to hire them instead.

2. On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?

A little weirdness goes a long way for Zappos, according to CEO Tony Hsieh. He told Business Insider that the number isn't too important, but it's more about how people answer the question. However, if "you're a one, you probably are a little bit too straight-laced for the Zappos culture," he says. "If you're a 10, you might be too psychotic for us."

Another favourite of Zappos is: "On a scale of one to 10, how lucky are you in life?" Which apparently, if you're a one, you don't know why bad things happen to you and probably blame others, whereas if you're a 10, you don't understand why good things always seem to happen to you and probably lack confidence.

3. You are standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?

Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk riddles candidates with this one to test their intelligence, despite their being multiple correct answers, according to the biography "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.”

4. What was the last costume you wore?

Warby Parker, prescription eyeglass company, doesn’t necessarily judge candidates on the costume they wore, but are interested in the reasoning behind it, to see if it matches their core values of injecting "fun and quirkiness into work, life, and everything they do."

The company's Co-Founder and Co-CEO David Gilboa told Quartz: "We find that people who are able to make the job environment fun build followership more easily. If we hire the most technically skilled person in the world whose work style doesn't fit here, they won't be successful."

5. If you were an animal, which animal would you be?

Stormy Simon, President of Overstock, American internet retailer told the publication: “The animal kingdom is broad, and everyone can identify with a specific animal they think embodies their own personalities and characteristics.

"One time an interviewee said they identified with a red panda because everyone thinks they are so cute and approachable, but it turns out they're just really lazy. We hired the candidate anyway despite that answer, but we parted ways within three weeks. It just goes to show how important the question is."


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