Heading into a job interview, a candidate is never quite sure of the type of questions that will get thrown their way. The standard questions such as ‘What skills do you have?’ and ‘Why do you want this role?’ are a given, but what about some of the more obscure questions a candidate has been asked?
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recently revealed his go-to interview question to Business Insider, which is one that jobseekers are unlikely to anticipate. The businessman revealed that he likes to ask jobseekers what book they’re currently reading.
Not the most unusual question a hiring manager or recruiter could ask, however, it isn’t necessarily something a candidate would prepare an answer for, which could leave them feeling a little flustered when thinking on the spot.
Schultz isn’t the only manager to ask something a little strange; in 2012 a job hunter interviewing for a Software Engineer role at Apple wrote on Glassdoor that they were told “You have 100 coins lying flat on a table, each with a head side and a tail side. Ten of them are heads up, 90 are tails up. You can't feel, see or in any other way find out which side is up. Split the coins into two piles such that there are the same number of heads in each pile”.
Meanwhile, in 2011 another Glassdoor user revealed that they were asked ‘how they would test a toaster’ by a hiring manager at the tech giant.
Similarly, banking firm Monzo asked a candidate how they thought the internet worked, while US grocery chain Trader Joe’s quizzed the jobseeker on what they would do if they found a penguin in a freezer.
Certainly, in any interview the hiring manager is looking to find out more about the potential employee and what makes them tick. By asking random questions, such as “What vegetable would you like to be and why?” allows recruiters to see how the candidate can work under pressure, so it can be a good tactic for recruiters to use.
Have you ever asked some curveball questions? Let us know in the comments below…