Job search | 5 wacky interview questions that top firms use to assess candidates

5 wacky interview questions that top firms use to assess candidates

It’s critical for recruiters to approach job interviews in the right manner. If you offer too many ‘softball’ questions then you run the risk of not discovering what your applicants are capable of – but, on the other hand, if you ask impossibly hard questions then your candidates are likely to come away feeling that a company is not right for them.

Many of the world’s top companies have found success using unusual lines of questioning that reveal far more useful information about their applicants and their ways of working than the standard interview might.

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Recruitment Grapevine has collated some of the most interesting interview talking points, and the facts that they might be able to uncover from using these questions.

Google – “Name a prank you would pull on a manager if you were hired.” claims a hopeful Applications Support Engineer had been asked this question in an interview in 2014. While it might seem quite wacky, it gives the candidate a chance to think on their feet and describe something both funny and appropriate. The ideal candidate would likely talk about how they’d need to be sure of their sense of humour first, before discussing an example of a harmless prank that’s just as funny for the ‘victim’ as the onlookers.

Facebook – "What do you do on your best day at work?"

CNBC reports that Facebook's Recruiting Director Liz Wamai wants to know what a perfect day would look like for her candidates. "To me, that speaks to what are their strengths [and] what do they like to do," Wamai said at a Glassdoor Panel. Ideally, you’d like to hear a candidate describe aspects of both the job itself and the company culture that they’d fit into best.

Trader Joe’s – “What do you think of garden gnomes?”

This question, as reported by The Muse, seems to be another attempt to throw candidates off-guard by asking them about something it’s impossible to be prepared for. This gives the interviewer a chance to see first-hand how the applicant deals with unexpected circumstances, and an insight into how they may deal with uncertainty while on the job.

Chevron – “What three words would your friends use to describe you?”

Coburgbanks explains that Chevron doesn’t want candidates to talk about themselves, but about the perception others have of them. This allows the candidate to talk more naturally about their personality. It also sheds some light in their usual role in groups – which could be essential if you are trying to ease someone into an already-established team.

Norwegian Cruise Line – “Do you believe in bigfoot?”

Staff Solutions warns that this holiday company asks about a popular conspiracy theory – but it might not be just to weed out candidates who like to wear tin-foil hats. If a candidate says no and describes the lack of conclusive evidence despite many attempts to locate the creature, this reveals the candidate is likely to be a logical thinker.

One who is open to the idea of the bigfoot existing, however, might be the kind of candidate who enjoys going against the grain and will be happy to question established protocols. It all depends on what kind of hire you’re looking to make.

What wacky interview questions do you think work well? Let us know in the comments…

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