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Top 25 oddball job interview questions include penguins, songs and the Empire State Building

January 11th, 2013

PenguinA penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?” That’s an actual job interview question, one of the Top 25 Oddball  questions asked by potential employers in Glassdoor’s annual list.

One in five employees plan to look for a new job in the next three months assuming the economy stays the same or improves, according to the Q4 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey. And those job-seekers may face some downright weird questions, such as:

“How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State Building?” Or, “What song best describes your work ethic?”

We confess, some of these would cause us some hemming and hawing. So it’s best to be prepared not just for the questions you expect, but also for the unexpected.

To give job seekers a leg up in the interview process, Glassdoor, a jobs and career community, offers its annual list of Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions, which is compiled from the tens of thousands of interview questions shared by job candidates over the past year.

This list is designed to help job seekers prepare for challenging or unexpected questions that may arise during an interview.

Glassdoor’s Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions for 2013:

1. “If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?” — Asked atForrester Research, Research Associate candidate. More Forrester Research interview questions.

2. “How many cows are in Canada?” — Asked at Google, Local Data Quality Evaluator candidate. More Google interview questions.

3. “How many quarters would you need to reach the height of the Empire State building?” — Asked at JetBlue, Pricing/Revenue Management Analyst candidate. More JetBlue interview questions.

4. “A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?” — Asked at Clark Construction Group, Office Engineer candidate. More Clark Construction Group interview questions.

5. “What song best describes your work ethic?” — Asked at Dell, Consumer Sales candidate.More Dell interview questions.

6. “Jeff Bezos walks into your office and says you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it?” — Asked at Amazon, Product Development candidate.More Amazon interview questions.

7. “What do you think about when you are alone in your car?” — Asked at Gallup, Associate Analyst candidate. More Gallup interview questions.

8. “How would you rate your memory?” — Asked at Marriott, Front Desk Associate candidate.More Marriott interview questions.

9. “Name 3 previous Nobel Prize Winners.” — Asked at BenefitsCONNECT, Office Manager candidate. More BenefitsCONNECT interview questions.

10. “Can you say: ‘Peter Pepper Picked a Pickled Pepper’ and cross-sell a washing machine at the same time?” — Asked at MasterCard, Call Centre candidate. More MasterCard interview questions.

11. “If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?” — Asked at Trader Joe’s, Crew candidate. More Trader Joe’s interview questions.

12. “How would people communicate in a perfect world?” — Asked at Novell, Software Engineer candidate. More Novell interview questions.

13. “How do you make a tuna sandwich?” — Asked at Astron Consulting, Office Manager candidate. More Astron Consulting interview questions.

14. “My wife and I are going on vacation, where would you recommend?” — Asked atPricewaterhouseCoopers, Advisory Associate candidate. More PricewaterhouseCoopers interview questions.

15. “You are a head chef at a restaurant and your team has been selected to be on Iron Chef. How do you prepare your team for the competition and how do you leverage the competition for your restaurant?” — Asked at Accenture, Business Analyst candidate. More Accenture interview questions.

16. “Estimate how many windows are in New York.” — Asked at Bain & Company, Associate Consultant candidate. More Bain & Company interview questions.

17. “What’s your favorite song? Perform it for us now.” — Asked at LivingSocial, Adventures City Manager candidate. More LivingSocial interview questions.

18. “Calculate the angle of two clock pointers when time is 11:50.” — Asked at Bank of America, Software Developer candidate. More Bank of America interview questions.

19. “Have you ever stolen a pen from work?” — Asked at Jiffy Software, Software Architect candidate. More Jiffy Software interview questions.

20. “Pick two celebrities to be your parents.” — Asked at Urban Outfitters, Sales Associate candidate. More Urban Outfitters interview questions.

21. “What kitchen utensil would you be?” — Asked at Bandwidth.com, Marketer candidate.More Bandwidth.com interview questions.

22. “If you had turned your cell phone to silent, and it rang really loudly despite it being on silent, what would you tell me?” — Asked at Kimberly-Clark, Biomedical Engineer candidate.More Kimberly-Clark interview questions.

23. “On a scale from one to ten, rate me as an interviewer.” — Asked at Kraft Foods, General Laborer candidate. More Kraft Foods interview questions.

24. “If you could be anyone else, who would it be?” — Asked at Salesforce.com, Sales Representative candidate. More Salesforce.com interview questions.

25. “How would you direct someone else on how to cook an omelet?” — Asked at PETCO, Analyst candidate. More PETCO interview questions.

While job candidates should be ready to take on some challenging and oddball interview questions, they should also expect to be asked some basic or common interview questions.

 

 

Here’s a video of people answering some of those questions:


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One Response to “Top 25 oddball job interview questions include penguins, songs and the Empire State Building”

  1. These types of questions are fairly common where I live (Seattle), especially among the tech firms such as Microsoft and Amazon. They do not necessarily expect you to have the right answer, but are assessing your methodology for solving problems.