Going in for an interview can definitely be nerve-wracking at times. You have to worry about wearing the right outfit, making a good first impression, answering all of the questions correctly and more. Normally, you can prepare yourself somewhat for the questions that the interviewer will most likely ask you, but what do you say if you are blindsided by questions that have nothing to do with the position you are applying for?
Glassdoor.com just released the top 25 oddest interview questions of 2010, and there are definitely some crazy ones. Where do these companies come up with these questions, and what on earth do they have to do with anything? Glassdoor.com sorted through more than 80,000 ridiculous questions that were shared by candidates on their Web site to compile their list. Here are some of the questions that were allegedly asked during interviews with tech companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and more.
“How many basketball[s] can you fit in this room?” – asked at Google for a People Analyst position
“If you could be any superhero, who would it be?” – asked at AT&T for a Customer Sales Representative position
“If you had 5,623 participants in a tournament, how many games would need to be played to determine the winner?” – asked at Amazon for a Manager position
“There are three boxes, one contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled such that no label identifies the actual contents of the box it labels. Opening just one box, and without looking in the box, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?” – asked at Apple for a Software QA Engineer position
”How do you weigh an elephant without using a weigh machine?” – asked at IBM for a Software Engineer position
“You have 8 pennies, 7 weigh the same, one weighs less. You also have a judge’s scale. Find the one that weighs less in less than 3 steps.” – asked at Intel for a Systems Validation Engineer position
”A train leaves San Antonio for Houston at 60mph. Another train leaves Houston for San Antonio at 80mph. Houston and San Antonio are 300 miles apart. If a bird leaves San Antonio at 100mph, and turns around and flies back once it reaches the Houston train, and continues to fly between the two, how far will it have flown when they collide.” – asked at USAA for a Software Engineer position
Are you saying what I was saying after reading these? What does this have to do with anything? It really just doesn’t make any sense to me, but these weren’t all of the odd interview questions. These were just the tech companies. Here are a few of my other favorite questions that also made the list.
“If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?” – Asked at Goldman Sachs
“What is the philosophy of Martial Arts?” – Asked at Aflac
“Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are.” – Asked at Capital One
“Given the numbers 1 to 1000, what is the minimum number of guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint “higher” or “lower” for each guess you make?” – Asked at Facebook
“You are in a dark room with no light. You need matching socks for your interview and you have 19 gray socks and 25 black socks. What are the chances you will get a matching pair?” – Asked at Eze Castle
“How many bottles of beer are drank in the city over the week?” – Asked at The Nielsen Company
“How are M&M’s made?” – Asked at US BankThese questions are out there.
Although all of these questions are not necessarily 100 percent accurate, I’m sure that many of them are. I guess the real lesson to be learned from these insane interview questions is that you will never be fully prepared for an interview. You are never completely sure what your interviewer will be asking, so you should try to prepare yourself for any possible surprises. Hopefully you won’t be asked any questions about M&Ms, Martial Arts or blenders, unless you are going into those specific fields, but there’s no harm in being prepared. Moral of the story: be prepared for anything because you have absolutely no idea what crazy thing you might be asked in an interview.