Trader Joe's Interview Question: What do you think of garden n... | Glassdoor

Interview Question

Team Member Interview Folsom, CA

What do you think of garden nomes.


Interview Answer

47 Answers


I don't think of them.

Interview Candidate on Sep 1, 2011

I'd ask in return: what value do they offer? For example if you put a gnome in the garden, do they scare aware birds? and then finally, how does this question relate to the job?

Sam on Jan 9, 2012

Hm. I usually think of garden gnomes.

Margaret on Jan 10, 2012

I prefer gargoyles and dragons instead. Gnomes are too happy.

rob on Jan 10, 2012

Gnomes are determined, they fish in all weather, they are hardworkers as denoted by the wheel barrows they push, but are vertically challenged for most jobs.

Rich on Jan 10, 2012

I think Gnomes are overrated

Bryan on Jan 10, 2012

Garden gnomes? What a perfectly and ridiculously evil way of saying, "I'm obviously superior to you because I'm cleverer than you. If you were so smart you would throw up your hands, call me a bad name and storm out mumbling under your breath, "what a pompous dweeb!"

don on Jan 10, 2012

Geez don, why the pent up anger?

I love this question, particularly if it was the first question or if the interviewee appeared to be so uptight, the interviewer wasn't going to get a view of the real personality of the interviewee.

My opinion, potential response is to laugh and answer somewhat similar. "It depends are they wearing a red or a green jacket?"

TNT on Jan 10, 2012

I never think of Garden Nomes. never did like them, and they should be banned in all gardens immediately if not sooner!!

Martha Stewart on Jan 10, 2012


Actually, I didn't think my anger was pent up. Should have been clearer. I guess one's response to this MAY be determined by whether you have a job or not. I assume you do. I don't currently have a job and have been in (more than) my share of interviews.

It's a stressful situation at best and unless the interviewer can give some reason for asking the question ("Your working here depends on whether or not I like your answer" vs "Let me gain some insight into how you think" vs "Hey, lets have some fun just to break the ice, I know you're in a difficult situation and maybe taking a minute to ponder the imponderable will help!"

Fair enuf. But, to play with you like a cat/mouse is unprofessional and I suggest condescending. Oh, for sure, I'd play along sweating the whole time trying to guess what this guy/gal is looking for unless he/she has articulated it before.

Just frickin' tell me about the job and let me tell you about myself. I guess my feelings are THAT is the purpose and goal of most interviews. Not cat and mouse games.

don on Jan 10, 2012

If I could get work as one then I probably wouldn't be here today talking to you.

Nimzo on Jan 10, 2012

With my eyes closed.

Rick on Jan 10, 2012

As the Goddess of inspiration, Cerridwen would answer that this is an excellent question for a potential team member of Trader Joe's to answer. This question is a concrete one that requests the interviewee to show creativity. What I personally think of garden gnomes is irrelevant; however, what does matter is - can I present garden gnomes to potential buyers in such a way that the need to own at least one helps sell the product - and by extension, can I help the seller to create a positive view of garden gnomes to help sell them. Gnomes are magical beings regardless of what they look like - but they can be cute or ugly --- which is in the eye of the beholder. My job is create a cuteness and utility to having a gnome in ones garden or anywhere else that a gnome would be useful.

Cerridwen on Jan 10, 2012

I've never given any thought to garden gnomes. Is that what you make here?

toadaly on Jan 10, 2012

ok, so this is for Trader Joe's, who I think might actually sell garden gnomes:

"Some people like them. I would sell them in the gardenning section of the store and probably only stock them in the Spring"

toadaly on Jan 10, 2012

I would laugh and say, "Great question!!" It would show me that the manager has a sense of humor, and I like that at a job. It would also put me more at ease.

DibblesMcPhee on Jan 10, 2012

I couldn't eat a whole one

Fliss on Jan 10, 2012

I prefer gargoyles and dragons instead. I am a litigator.

Elizabethanne on Jan 10, 2012

Me: a bit over-sized but perfectly acceptable for Lawn Darts.

Paul on Jan 10, 2012

It would depend where in the interview this occurred. It could be a waste of time, it could be a put at ease ice-breaker, or it could reveal your general view on somewhat pointless, quirky things. Since Trader Joe's is a quirky style company (floral print shirts, a giant bell used to make announcements, a tounge in cheek mailer, I would view it as an attempt to determine if I would embrace quirky or be frustrated by it. Now if this was asked at an interview at a large corporate bank, I'd view it as a waste of time question

Mike on Jan 10, 2012

Horrible conversationilists.

JC on Jan 10, 2012

It depends.... Do they like Prosecco?

Dana G on Jan 10, 2012

More people should give them credit for being the original flower children!

Ralph on Jan 10, 2012

I'd love them if it gave me a chance to hang out with Harry Potter trying to toss them out of the garden.

V on Jan 10, 2012

I think Toadaly is on the money. Given that this is for a retail organisation, I would say I'm not keen personally but if there is money to be made selling them that's entirely different.

JohnR on Jan 11, 2012

I think of George Harrison, David Robinson, and Travelocity. I think George had an album cover with gnomes on it. David Robinson was playing one on one with Tim Duncan and used a gnome as a boundary. Well, Travelocity is well known for it traveling gnome. Not sure I would think of these off the cuff at an interview though.

JimA on Jan 11, 2012

"I own 7 garden gnomes carved out of materials reclaimed from abandoned indie record stores. I find they really compliment my whimsical woodsy decor. I've named each one after a different iconic bearded hipster folk indie pop singer. They are dank."

(I assume that I would be a giant hipster if I was applying at Trader Joes"

Lisa on Jan 11, 2012


generally speaking, when called for an interview, you are already qualified for the job, that's what the resume is for, the purpose of the interview is two part, one, to verify the stuff you wrote on the resume is accurate and two, to see how you will "fit" into the company (this goes both ways), being this is trader joe's...i think it is an appropriate question which could be answered with some humor and spin it by injecting how you can contribute to the company.

Frank on Jan 11, 2012

Could be an excellent prop for displaying the garden fresh ___________ that is on sale this week!

Shows that you've actually been in a Trader Joe's

I'm Dave on Jan 11, 2012

I think they are effective to keep one's garden... cute.

Marco on Jan 12, 2012

re: Frank.

Fair enuf that this is a Part 2 type question. It just makes me nervous to think my mortgage, my kids braces, college tuition, their health care and my car payments depend on how I feel about garden gnomes.

don on Jan 12, 2012

When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching that cartoon that chronicled the life of a garden gnome and his wife. Boy, those garden gnomes sure live a dangerous life!

Winston on Jan 14, 2012

I am not going to lie. I will always through in a ridiculous question, which has no bearing on the position, simply for my amusement. Let's face it if you are doing interviews all day, you have to let yourself have some fun. Yes I do work for a major corporation and I have never been ridiculed for doing so.

Galeen on Jan 24, 2012

As someone who has interviewed thousands of people in the course of my career, I suspect this question is designed more to get people talking and to show their underlying personality. TJ's (full disclosure...I love shopping there), is a retail outlet and it's important for employees to make connections with their customers. I've overheard some pretty bizarre questions asked during shopping trips there and you want employees who will take them in stride.

DougV on Jan 31, 2012

My answer: I like garden gnomes. They are colorful, whimsical and can serve as a focal point in the garden. I suppose they aren't favored by everyone, but that's okay-our differences make the world more interesting. Is Trader Joes's thinking of selling Garden Gnomes in its stores?
But what I'd really be thinking is: I can't believe I have to answer stupid questions like this one just to get affordable health insurance and an $ 8/hr job. What refuse of the bull! I feel sorry for all you job seekers here.

Rob on Feb 7, 2012

Hmm - Chunks of cheap concrete or plaster, with simple, easy to reproduce in quantity, with the opportunities for endless new model varieties - at a truly ridculous markup once you have a marketable design - I wish I had royalty rights on that product! Too bad about the shipping costs with gas prices, but at least you'd never have to worry that the stock would spoil, as you can leave them out in the rain!

Bee Kay on Mar 6, 2012

You would not see them in my front yard.

phaethon on May 5, 2012

I don't think of them much, but I suppose I'm wondering three things right now:

1. What is with the gnome in the Travelocity commercial? How does a gnome make you want to take a vacation?

2. Why are their hats taller than they are? It's like whoever manufactured them was making fun of them which is sad since whoever manufactured them was getting money for doing so. So basically, whoever manufactured them was making fun of the thing that helps pay their bills.

3. Why did you misspell "gnome"?

Stephanie on May 8, 2012

I think it is just getting more stupid the interviews. they are playing with people who are more than able to do the job, the questions are just entertainment for the interviewers. I like critical thinking but people are making are mock of it. Who cares about gnome , or how many people are there in different places of the world? many are taking the opportunity to steal ideas from candidates to create new products for the company, it should be illegal or recorded in the boardroom(do not sell your idea), if it is really good , they will ignore you and keep your idea.

ShiningStar on Oct 18, 2012

Y'know, it's funny. Everyone worries about the zombie apocalypse. No one is prepared for the gnome apocalypse. NO ONE :P.

Alan P on Jan 17, 2013

@ Shining Star. You just do not get it. This interview question alone, has triggered your frustration, and displayed your inability to improvise and just have fun.

Take the interviewer at face value, and stretch your imagination to an unknown world that you have never considered possible.
 If you can consider a video game as a reality, try using your imagination as the same tool. You think, therefore it can be possible.

topo gigio on Mar 13, 2013

If they can't get their DPS over 45K in Elegon, they need to be vote kicked.

Herself on Apr 27, 2013

they're great for target practice....

bobatlehigh on Jun 19, 2013

There very different

Anonymous on Nov 15, 2014

Its spelled "gnomes" and they're creepy

Anonymous on May 12, 2015

Contradiction. Abnormal yet normal

Anonymous on Oct 27, 2015

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