odd interview questions recruiters should ask

Oddball Interview Questions Recruiters Should Ask

Weird, funny and strange interview questions can be a powerful tool to glean information about a potential candidate as long as they are used correctly. If the interviewer doesn’t know what he or she is looking for, then throwing out a strange interview question just for the sake of doing it will be pointless and awkward.

It’s an excellent technique to get to know the real person, but you have to know what you are doing.”

— Mark Jaffe, President of Wyatt & Jaffe, the executive search firm

When it comes to weird interview questions they typically fall under the categories of problem-solving, thought process and cultural fit. The problem-solving ones are designed to see how quickly, accurately and creatively a person solves a problem and could include questions such as how many square feet of pizza are eaten in the U.S. each year? or how many snow shovels sold in the U.S. last year?

Similar to problem-solving questions are thought process questions which are designed to see how you think. Examples of thought process questions include describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seatbelt and why is a tennis ball fuzzy?

Cultural fit questions are employed to see if a candidate would fit well within a company. Questions could include if you could throw a parade of any caliber through the Zappos office, what type of parade would it be? And if you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

Oddball Interview Questions

  1. How many cows are in Canada?
  2. How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 pm on a Friday?
  3. What would the name of your debut album be?
  4. If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?
  5. Does life fascinate you?
  6. Please spell ‘diverticulitis’.
  7. How much money did residents of Dallas/Ft. Worth spend on gasoline in 2008?
  8. How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?
  9. How many planes are currently flying over Kansas?
  10. How many different ways can you get water from a lake at the foot of a mountain, up to the top of the mountain?
  11. If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?
  12. If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?
  13. How many ridges [are there] around a quarter?
  14. What is the philosophy of Martial Arts?
  15. Explain [to] me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years.
  16. Tell me how you would determine how many house painters there are in the United States?
  17. Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What is the minimum number of races required?
  18. An apple costs 20 cents, an orange costs 40 cents, and a grapefruit costs 60 cents, how much is a pear?
  19. How many traffic lights in Manhattan?
  20. What do wood and alcohol have in common?

Funny Interview Questions

  1. What songs best describe your work ethic?
  2. Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?
  3. What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?
  4. What do you think of garden gnomes?
  5. Pepsi or Coke? 6. Are you exhaling warm air?
  6. How do you feel about those jokers at Congress?
  7. How are M&M’s made?
  8. What would you do if you just inherit a pizzeria from your uncle?
  9. What was your best McGuyver moment?

Curve Ball Interview Questions

  1. If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?
  2. How would you sell hot coco in Florida?
  3. If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?
  4. If you were a brand, what would be your motto?
  5. If you had $2,000, how would you double it in 24 hours?
  6. Is your college GPA reflective of your potential?
  7. If you could be #1 employee but have all your coworkers dislike you or you could be #15 employee and have all your coworkers like you, which would you choose?
  8. How would you cure world hunger?
  9. What is 37 times 37?
  10. Given the numbers 1 to 1000, what is the minimum numbers guesses needed to find a specific number if you are given the hint “higher” or “lower” for each guess you make.

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