Five bizarre interview questions: Why to ask them and how to answer them
The digital age has made sharing of strange interview questions easier, but these are not a new phenomenon. Employers have been asking bizarre questions of job candidates for many years, but that doesn’t make the questions any easier to answer.
As hard as the candidates have been working to prepare an answer for these questions, recruiters have been working to develop new ones to test job seekers. We’ve collected five of these strange questions, how to answer them and why to ask them:
- How would you describe the colour yellow to someone who is blind?
- What was the last gift you gave to someone that isn’t part of your family and why did you choose that gift?
- You can take three famous people, dead or alive, on a two-week road trip of a lifetime. Who would they be?
- Who would win in a fight between Batman and Spiderman?
- Do you still have both of your testicles?
How would you describe the colour yellow to someone who is blind?
An almost impossible task, but one that provides a good gauge on a candidate. Their approach to answering the question will tell you how well they think on their feet, as well as their ability to articulate their thoughts.
This kind of question can easily turn you into a rambling mess, so take a deep breath and think before answering it. The best way to provide a coherent response is to link it with feelings, emotions and items associated with the colour. A beautiful sunny day…a fluffy new-born duckling…a submarine…a song by Coldplay in the early 2000s…etc.
What was the last gift you gave to someone that isn’t part of your family and why did you choose it?
Decision-making skills are only a small factor in asking this question, as it can often give a good snapshot of the candidate’s life and character. Don’t judge the answer on the gift, but more about the reason it was chosen. This question can also give you an idea of how well the candidate would fit into your team.
There is no right answer here. Your response doesn’t need to blow the interviewer out of the water, but it can be an indication of emotional intelligence. Even if your last gift wasn’t flashy or impressive, you can impress an interviewer by giving a well-thought-out reason.
You can take three famous people, dead or alive, on a two-week road trip of a lifetime. Who would they be?
This is an interesting icebreaker question to loosen up the candidate. With the extended two-week time period, it is a slight variance to the popular “invite three famous people to dinner” question. As it’s an on-the-spot question, this will give you a decent idea of how the candidate thinks. Don’t read too much into their selection but more about their justification.
As with the previous question, there is no right answer here but remember not to overthink it. Naming with a person you think the interviewer wants to hear could backfire if you don’t know that much about the person. Answer the question honestly, making sure you can confidently back up your selection with good reasoning. Don’t just mention the person’s admirable traits, but their mistakes too. This will show that you’re willing to learn from yours.
Who would win in a fight between Batman and Spiderman?
This question will get the candidate thinking outside the box a little. It also gives you a good insight into their character, with the potential for humour, critical thinking, or even panic. Challenge them on their selection to check their reasoning skills and ability to stay calm under even the most bizarre of interrogation.
As with all personality probe questions, let the genuine you come out. Have a laugh, argue your point but always be sure to keep it professional.
“It already happened, and Spiderman won. Why else do you think Batman has to wear his underpants on the outside? That was the losing bet…” – from a commenter on recruitment site Glassdoor.
Do you still have both of your testicles?*
*this was a question asked of Kris Boyd at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Let us know how you would answer this question, or why you think it’s a good question to ask.