The strangest interview questions you may ever see

01.17.2013


During any interview, you'll most likely hear the standard questions you always hear. While giving a great response to these questions will help you up your chances of getting the job, there are a few curve ballsemployers like to throw at you to see how well you can think on your feet.

According to Business Insider, being prepared for these unique - often quirky - questions can help you develop an image that stands out among other job applicants. Some of the strangest interview questions that have been reported include asking what kitchen utensil you would be, if you know how to cook an omelet, or if you've ever stolen a pen.

When you're sitting in an interview, waiting for the questions that you have (hopefully) spent hours preparing for, it could jar you quite a bit to hear such odd questions. However, the key to responding to these is not to give the best answer, or an accurate, correct number. Rather, it is best to respond to these calmly to show you can handle the unexpected.

Glassdoor recently released its Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions for 2013, which included the aforementioned questions, just to name a few. The questions were gathered as part of the Q4 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey, and came from thousands of interviewees who shared their experiences with the quirky questions.

"Oddball questions may seem to have nothing to do with an open job position, but companies are increasingly asking these types of brainteaser questions to determine a candidate's ability to think on their feet, think critically, problem solve, and effectively talk through a response," wrote Glassdoor's Heather Huhman.

One of the strangest questions interviewees reported was a simple inquiry about Canada's agriculture industry.

"How many cows are in Canada," Google asked some of its applicants.

According to Huhman, there's no need to prepare for hard statistics for questions like this. Instead, she says, be creative, and think of a response that would catch the interviewer equally off guard. Google noted a few responses it said were successful, including one candidate who said Canada has enough cows to make sure they've got enough cheese and milk.

Really, any answer is better than "I don't know."

JetBlue asked its job candidates a rather unusual question, wondering if applicants knew how many quarters would be needed to reach the height of the empire state building. But again, you don't need to know how many stories the New York icon is, how thick a quarter is or any other random tidbits to answer this correctly.

"This question may be asked to test your problem solving abilities, but more likely, these types of odd questions help interviewers to determine cultural fit. So whatever you do, don't start sweating it – just let your personality show," Huhman wrote.

Of all the questions gathered by Glassdoor, Clark Construction Group may take the cake for the oddest. During one interview, the company asked an applicant what a penguin dressed in only a sombrero would say if it walked into the room at that very moment. Such a question is asked specifically to test your ability to fit in with the company culture, so this could be a great opportunity to show off your fun, comedic side.

Amanda Lachapelle, director of HR for Glassdoor, said she would answer the question by exclaiming "my penguin is going to come in the door and say, 'You should hire Amanda — she's organized and she has her stuff together. You want her to lead your team.,'" and that he was wearing a sombrero because "he had a margarita before he came in."

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