Why You Must Always Ask Ridiculous Job Interview Questions

Are you ready for your next job interview? Do you have a handful of favorite job interview questions that you love to ask? If you’re like most HR professionals you stick to the script and make a hiring decision. But what if you threw in a curveball questions that truly revealed what a job candidate was really like?

White balls with one red ball image

Now you probably start your job interviews with these classic job interview questions. You know the ones that that every job candidate is prepared for:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How did you hear about the position?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why are you switching jobs?
  • Do you have any questions for us?
  • And the list goes on (just be sure to avoid any illegal interview questions)….

After you ask a few hundred job applicants the same questions, the answers start to sound a bit redundant and unoriginal. But when you ask a ridiculous interview question that seems to come from completely out of no where, you really get to see how a job candidate thinks. No two job candidates are going to answer an off the wall job interview question the same way!

Here’s a random collection of real-life ridiculous job interview questions collected by Glassdoor.com over the last few years:

  • What’s your favorite 90s jam?” – Squarespace
  • “If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?” – Bose
  • “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?” — Xerox, Client Manager interview.
  • “Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?” – Whole Food Market
  • “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?” – Trader Joe’s

Off the wall interview questions aren’t designed to totally trick and potentially frustrate job candidates. In a Glassdoor.com interview with Susah Ruhl with Innovative Career Consulting, she says they are “designed to uncover how you think, handle unexpected problems and situations, whether you are a good fit for their culture, and how creative you are.” Isn’t that the whole point of a job interview?

If you’re planning to use this tactic to spice up your interviews and to really get to know a candidate, you need to use them correctly. Ask with a specific purpose in mind. Yes it will show if a person can function under pressure, but it will also help to highlight their thought process when it comes to the “categories of problem solving, thought process and cultural fit, according to Ruhl.”

The next time you’re interviewing a potential new hire, ask one of these questions or something similar. Have a plan for what type of information you want to unveil. You’ll be amazed at what thinking outside of the box can do for you and ultimately your company too.

Here are links to Glassdoor’s Top Oddball Interview Questions from the past few years:

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