What’s the Weirdest Thing You’ve Been Asked in an Interview?

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Bill Brantley 6 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #120259

    Stephen Peteritas
    Participant

    Interviews are mostly awkward, it’s just one of those facts of life. For all sakes and purposes it’s the professional equivalent to a first date. Yeah you may walk out of it happy and it may be the beginning of something long term but it still doesn’t change the fact for most people talking with complete strangers isn’t in our DNA. Interviews are weird enough without over the top questions.

    Last week Bnet.com posted what they believe to be the 25 weirdest interview questions. Really this is a good read and I’ll bet you get a laugh out of a few of them.

    Their post definitely got me thinking what’s the weirdest question I’ve ever been asked in an interview. I didn’t have anything super crazy but being asked whether I was a cool kid in high school or not struck me as weird at the time.

    So what about you, ever asked or been asked anything crazy? If not what’s your favorite one off Bnet’s list?

  • #120311

    Bill Brantley
    Participant

    At my first interview for a state job I was asked if I had heard of a particular candidate for the position I was interviewing for. I said I had and that she was a classmate of mine. The interviewer then asked if I thought this person would take the job. I said probably but I would be a better fit because of my internship experience.

    She was offered the job and she accepted.

  • #120309

    Stephen Peteritas
    Participant

    Ouch that’s pretty cold Bill.

  • #120307

    Dave McClees
    Participant

    A long time ago I was asked to tell a joke, which caught me off guard, as it was a supevisory, high pressure position (I got the job and don’t remember if I told a joke or not). I’m not one with a good memory for jokes, except for kids jokes and jokes that are at the expense of an ethnicity, which might lose you a job in today’s environment. Plus, I don’t tell jokes anymore because everyone is so easily offended, so who remembers jokes? I do appreciate the importance of having a sense of humor and being able to respond with skill to something unexpected, so I need to find a short joke that is funny at no one’s expense… I have no ideas at all.

  • #120305

    Eric Erickson
    Participant

    The weirdest interview I had went very well, until I l found out a week later that the person who interviewed me got the job!

  • #120303

    Mike Schumacher
    Participant

    I was asked at a interview for a bank how I would weight an airplane with out any type of scale. This was for an internship in finance department. I actually go the answer right (which is putting it in a giant pool and getting the density). took me a while to reply though.

  • #120301

    Barbara Moskowitz
    Participant

    Years ago I interviewed for the job of Editor of a trade association magazine. The association director was not the one doing the hiring, but he, and others, interviewed me. He asked if I were the kind of person he could “lean on the bar with.” I told him I was not much of a bar leaner but that if I was hired, I hoped we would become comfortable enough with each other to share some level of personal information. I was hired and years later he told me one day that, “I objected to hiring you because I really wanted someone to lean on the bar with.”

  • #120299

    Barbara Moskowitz
    Participant

    Here’s the joke: Why do seagulls live by the sea? Because if they lived by the Bay, they’d be bagels.

  • #120297

    Matthew Harline
    Participant

    Perhaps your interviewer studied under Dick Cheney???

  • #120295

    Allen Sheaprd
    Participant

    Jokes in interview would be hard.

    Even if they want a technical person its better to show skill than nerdom. Techie joke “No matter how you push the envelope – its still statioinary” or Monty Python “Its only a flesh wound. Go again”

    Kids joke is safe but then one does not look mature “Why did the tomato turn red? It saw the salad dressing”

    Better joke “How many psych’s does it take to change a lightbulb? One – but the bulb has to want to change”

    Worse joke “Lets discuss the salary you are offering. I’m just kidding – its not funn. Its sad.”

    I’m saving my best joke incase one of you is on my next interview panel 🙂

  • #120293

    Lindley Ashline
    Participant

    Weirdest interview question: “If you had a stack of quarters as tall as the Empire State Building, would they fill up this room?”

  • #120291

    Kevin Dubs
    Participant

    Not so much a question, but an activity: A big banking firm made us do a group interview where we had to construct an ice cream shop out of K’Nex. We had to build it as a team while all of the hiring managers watched us like goldfish. We then had to present our K’Nex ice cream shop and explain why it was innovative, sustainable, and customer-friendly.

  • #120289

    Stephen Peteritas
    Participant

    Ok I think that one wins so far. What was the name of the ice cream shop?

  • #120287

    When I interviewed for an internship back in the day there were three questions.

    1. Are you smart ? (of course, here’s my transcript and a writing sample)

    2. Do you like pizza ? (absolutely)

    3. Do you drink beer ? (no, but I can be the designated driver).

    Yes, I got the job. Great memory and Great job!

  • #120285

    Steve Ressler
    Keymaster

    I went to an interview at Diamond consulting (kind of a wannabe McKinsey – pretty high-end – the interview was top floor of Chicago building overlooking the lake).

    They asked me the # of chinese restaurants there should be in Oxford, Ohio (my college town they knew) and whether the current amount was correct or oversaturated/undersaturated.

  • #120283

    Teresa Haugh
    Participant

    I interviewed to work in the office of a prominent surgeon. He forgot he was interviewing for a job and asked a string of personal questions about my medical history.

  • #120281

    Alice M. Fisher
    Participant

    Ooo I have a few

    1) How many kids do you have?

    2) Do you live alone?

    3) I was asked to bring with me full copies of three MarCom plans during an initial interview, and they wanted to “review” my work samples,simultaniously while I was being interviewed (they copied all of them), and then did not hire me.

    4) Another company had me come back 4 times asking for my social media brainstorming ideas. They then made them their own ideas and submitted them for a very LARGE client pitch, while I was sitting there. They did not hire me, but then had the audacity to call me back 3-4 mos later and wanted more ideas. Needless to say, I did not respond.

  • #120279

    Mike Schumacher
    Participant

    This seems like one of those moment when you just have to say “I have ideas and solutions for all of these topics and would love to help! when do I start?”.

  • #120277

    Teresa Haugh
    Participant

    good answer

  • #120275

    Amanda Blount
    Participant

    YEP! So Far that was the strangest one!

  • #120273

    Amanda Blount
    Participant

    1. Was in a panel interview once for an assitant manager’s position, and was told by one of the managers, during the interview, that my background and experience made him afraid for his job. I quickly repsonded that he should not be afraid, I am a team player and would be willing to train him to the level I was. Well, I guess that offended them because I was not hired.

    2. Was asked once at another panel interview, “So, you have children. Will you be bringing them to work on snow days, or do you have other options for daycare?” Before I could say anything at all, the same woman said, “We are actually looking for someone without children or someone who can work any hours”. No, even though I was more qualified, a single young male received the job.

    What a crazy world this is!!! LOL

  • #120271

    Alan L. Greenberg
    Participant

    There was something on my resume which suggested I had a prior connection in professional sports (No – I was not a player). The interviewer first engaged me in conversation about the sport and then asked if I still had the connections for tickets (I assume he meant free). I didn’t get the tickets or the job.

    http://www.thegovernmentman.com

  • #120269

    AJ Malik
    Participant

  • #120267

    “Why do we need communications anyway?”

    I almost fell out of my chair.

  • #120265

    Jenyfer Johnson
    Participant

    Weird story but true!

    I’d been RIF’d as a draftsman from a Naval Shipyard and got a call from the Personnel Office to interview for a position with the Environmental Office, along with 13 other people who had been RIF’d. The interview questions were as follows:

    1. Write 10 to -3 power in decimal form

    2. 3x-5=20; solve for x

    So, I am a bit surprized by only two questions and I write my answers down, get a “thank you; we’ll be calling you” and off I go. It turns out that out of 13 personnel from all types of positions all over the Shipyard, only 2 of us answered both questions correctly and both of us were hired.

    Thankfully, I was one of the two!

  • #120263

    Kevin Carter
    Participant

    Jeff Skillling, of Enron infamy, was asked in his Harvard interview, “Are you smart?”

    He responded, “I’m f**king smart.”

  • #120261

    mary malone
    Participant

    I recently interviewed for a job in the gaming business. I was asked several questions about why I left one job to go to another and, of course, the answer was that I was not getting enough hours.

    The interviewer turned to the question of why I was termed from a previous job I had for seven years. My first reaction was, I don’t think she is supposed to ask that question. And my second reaction, all internal of course, was I don’t have to answer that question.

    I couldn’t remember the reason I was termed from the job and I had the look of confusion on my face. I certainly was confused but I answered anyway since she was so bold as to ask. I responded that I didn’t really remember, that I was written up for something or other. She smiled as if to say she understood and was willing to dismiss the response.

    I am uncertain if the question of termination is a legal question to present. My initial feeling was to say, “I suppose it was just a difference of opinion.” I wanted to ask her if it is necessary for me to answer and may I refuse but I was afraid to appear uncooperative.

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