“If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?”
You may not believe it, but that’s an actual question asked of a candidate for a job at technology giant Apple.
Each year a list of oddball interview questions is published by Glassdoor. They base it on anonymous tips from employees and job-seekers like you who’ve gone online and shared the details of the interviews they’ve had.
Their findings are not specifically about ethical jobs – it’s very Silicon Valley heavy – but apparently the idea of asking out-of-left-field questions like these is to get your brain into an analytical thinking mode, and test your “lateral” thinking skills.
“It’s to test a job candidate’s critical thinking skills, see how they think through a problem out loud, solve through a problem and come up with the best solution, not always the right solution, but the best solution,” according to Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s community expert.
But the arrival of quirky questions may be short lived.
The tech giant Google has built up a reputation for elaborate employee perks and it has been somewhat of a trendsetter in the use of unpredictable questions – until recently.
Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google has practically smothered them with a wet blanket in a New York Times interview.
“We’ve done some interesting things to figure out how many job candidates we should be interviewing for each position, who are better interviewers than others and what kind of attributes tend to predict success at Google.”
“…we found that brainteasers are a complete waste of time. How many golf balls can you fit into an airplane? How many gas stations in Manhattan? A complete waste of time. They don’t predict anything. They serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart.”
So too awaken your critical thinking, or just to make you laugh, enjoy this selection of the weird and wacky interview questions – and the organisations that asked them – thanks to Glassdoor:
- “How lucky are you and why?” — Airbnb.
- “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?” — Apple.
- “Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?” — Dell.
- “If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?” — Bed Bath & Beyond.
- “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?” — Xerox.
- “How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the U.S. each year?” — Goldman Sachs.
- “Can you instruct someone how to make an origami ‘cootie catcher’ with just words?” — LivingSocial.
- “If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?” — McKinsey & Company.
- “You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what colour would you be and why?” — Urban Outfitters.
- “How does the Internet work?” — Akamai.
- “What’s the colour of money?” — American Heart Association.
- “Have you ever been on a boat?” — Applied Systems.