If you have ever had a job interview before, then you are probably familiar with the anxiety that kicks in while you are preparing. I mean, you do everything you can to calm your nerves: You do plenty of research and run through all the questions you can possibly think of the night before to come up with the best answers. You are ready to list off your strengths and weaknesses, why you want the job and why you think you would be a good fit for the position. You are as prepared as you can be, but still have a hunch that you may be thrown an obscure question for which you have not prepped a response.
Well, that hunch might be right.
According to The Telegraph, research company Glassdoor published a list of the most bizarre questions asked in interviews, and let me tell you, some of them are real doozies.
Many of the questions reflect the companies that asked them. Some of them are true puzzlers, testing engineering or logic skills. Other questions get fairly personal, trying to understand the applicant as a person. Then, of course, there are some questions that are just downright witty — hint: the answer to one of the questions on the list is “Monopoly.”
While major tech companies, such as Facebook and Apple, are often the culprits of asking these enigmatic questions, many smaller companies are jumping on board and asking applicants seemingly out-there questions too. I definitely understand why. I think asking such odd questions can really tell an interviewer a lot about an interviewee. It gives the applicant an opportunity to show off his or her creativity and personality. It showcases how he or she thinks through a problem, especially when put on the spot. Moreover, I think these kinds of questions speak to what a company should always aim to boast. A company that asks obscure questions highlights its desire to hire innovative employees who can think outside the box and would bring something interesting to the table.
That being said, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if the interviewees think the perplexity of their questions goes too far. When a question is obscure, there is a risk of throwing the interviewee off to the point where the interviewer may not get a fair response. Such a question may make interviewees anxious or test them in a realm that is not morally fair. I suppose what it comes down to is how seriously the interviewer considers the interviewee’s response to such complex questions. In other words, as long as the interviewer keeps the questions’ complexity in mind, I think they are definitely fair game in an interview.
Either way, the trend of these bizarre questions, whether fair or not, is escalating quickly. It seems that the moral of Glassdoor’s research is that you should not drive yourself crazy in preparation for an interview, because chances are, you will be thrown a curveball regardless. Whether or not that is comforting is up to you.