The GREAT, the INTERESTING, and the DAMN STUPID job interview questions.

The GREAT, the INTERESTING, and the DAMN STUPID job interview questions.

Some great companies with some great minds behind their recruitment efforts, ask some really stupid questions during job interview. I have dug the web a bit to create a subjective breakdown of great – interesting – and plain stupid things candidates are being asked nowadays.

What I did notice is that some companies, in an attempt to come across as cool and creative, ask some of the silliest questions. In this example, FlexJobs for example will ask: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And they will sound and make the candidate look infantile. Rather than simply asking: What are your plans for the next 1-3-5 years? – a question that will allow the candidate to talk about their aspirations, dreams, career plan; but at the same time will show the interviewee how ambitious, driven, organised or go with the flow their candidate is.

I have tested some of the questions myself during hundreds of interviews carried on for the MAXIMeyes Group and found many of them to be simply boring and not bringing anything to the table. They made the list too.

If you want to add to the list, please do so in the comment sections. I am sure there are some stories around…

Stupid job interview questions

  1. Who is your favourite Doctor Who?
  2. Which video game character would you like to be and why
  3. Do you wear jeans outside of work?
  4. Why are you here?
  5. How many fire hydrants are there in Los Angeles County?” – Software Engineer, Disney Interactive Studios
  6. If you were a Muppet, which character would you be?” – Donor Family Advocate, LifeNet Health
  7. Are you a Coronation Street or EastEnders fan?
  8. What would you do if you caught a member of staff kissing the boss?
  9. What dinosaur would you like to be?
  10. Was the book Frankenstein really about state control?
  11. Please do an improvisation of a film (with potential co-worker)
  12. Please bring a toy with you and explain how this reflects you as a person or a part of your personality
  13. Is a Jaffa cake a cake or biscuit?
  14. How do you feel about blood sports?
  15. If a Hippo falls into a hole how would you get it out?
  16. Do you like to sing in the bath?
  17. If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?
  18. If you were a flavour of ice cream, what would you be and why?
  19. What do you think the Chief Executive thinks of the company?
  20. Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?” – Asked at Stanford University
  21. What did you have for breakfast?” – Asked at Banana Republic
  22. If you were asked to unload a 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do?”— Asked at Bose
  23. How many people flew out of Chicago last year?” – Asked at Redbox
  24. What’s your favorite Disney Princess?” – Asked at Cold Stone Creamery
  25. What do you do when your client says “no” but doesn’t really mean “no”; he only means “tell me more and break down the issues.”
  26. Why did our government stop selling War Bonds? It seemed like a great idea for many reasons.
  27. Which of the two animals would you say you are most like — a sheep or a wolf — and why?
  28. Tell us something about our company; how it is better than your present working company?
  29. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
  30. How do you feel about reporting to a boss younger than you or if she is a lady boss?
  31. Can you work in critical situations with work pressure?
  32. If your boss asked you to jump, would you ask how high? Or, would you ask, why do you want me to jump?
  33. Tell me something you have never told anyone else.
  34. If you could be any animal on a carousel, what would you be, and why?
  35. If you were I, would you hire a person like you, and why?
  36. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
  37. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
  38. What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? (FlexJobs)
  39. What do you want to be when you grow up? (FlexJobs)
  40. How many pennies would fit into this room? (Vault)
  41. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday? (Quora)
  42. Estimate how many windows are in New York.
  43. How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the U.S. each year?
  44. If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why?
  45. You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant? (FlexJobs)
  46. A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

Interesting job interview questions

  1. If you had only one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
  2. How would your coworkers at your current job describe your interaction with them and your general effectiveness in your work performance? How would your coworkers describe you?
  3. What’s the worst thing about your current job and what’s the best?
  4. What one skill do you possess that will most impact our bottom line?
  5. Give an example of a situation where you had a conflict with a coworker, and how did you handle it?
  6. In 50 words or fewer, describe what skills and knowledge you can bring to our team.
  7. How do you handle criticism?
  8. What would you do if the sun died out?
  9. Describe the color yellow to somebody who’s blind.” – Asked at Spirit Airlines
  10. What do you worry about, and why?
  11. What do colleagues say is your best quality?
  12. If you were left in the woods with only the items in this room, what would you build?
  13. If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?
  14. Why do you want to change your job and work with our company?
  15. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  16. If I were to ask your current boss to tell me one thing you do that drives him crazy what would he tell me?
  17. What is there about this opportunity that most excites you?
  18. What’s your greatest fear about this opportunity?
  19. If you get the job, how could you lose money for me?
  20. How do you explain a vending machine to someone who hasn’t seen or used one before?” – Global Data Analyst, Bloomberg L.P.
  21. If your current employer had an anniversary party for you, what five words would be written on the cake to describe you?” – District Manager, Express
  22. What’s the capital of Canada?” – Team Leader, OpticsPlanet
  23. Name a brand that represents you as a person.” – Brand Strategist, Twitter
  24. If you could take anyone on a road trip with you, who would you take and why?” – Educator, lululemon
  25. If you had to take only one item to a deserted island, what would that be?” – Customer Service Specialist, Squarespace
  26. Build a tower of paper cups in one minute that would not fall down when you put water in the top cup
  27. Tell me 20 unique selling points about this BIC pen
  28. Would you drive through an amber traffic light?
  29. What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?”– Asked at Airbnb
  30. What qualities should a team leader have?
  31. Would you rather be liked or respected?
  32. How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do? (FlexJobs)
  33. We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do? (Quora)
  34. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
  35. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? (Quora)
  36. What were you like in high school? (Quora)
  37. Tell me something about your last job, other than money, that would have inspired you to keep working there. (Quora)
  38. If I were to hire you for this job and I granted you three promises with regard to working here, what would they be? (Quora)
  39. How would you value the store on the corner? (Vault)
  40. Sell me on one idea, and then sell me on the opposite of that idea.” – Solarwinds Administrator, Blizzard Entertainment
  41. Who would you invite to a dinner party?

Great job interview questions

  1. What prompted you to apply for this job? What interested you the most about this position?
  2. Why are you leaving your current employer? (If the applicant is employed.)
  3. What are the first three things you would do on the job if you were hired for this position?
  4. How do you go about continuing to develop your professional skills and knowledge?
  5. If we don’t hire you, what would we lose from this decision? MAXIMeyes, energy consultancy
  6. Do you consider yourself lucky?
  7. Who is your business idol and why?
  8. You are half way through the probation period and you are 50% into your targets. What do you do?
  9. What’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of? Why?
  10. What were some of the first impressions you got from walking into and waiting for a few minutes in our (organization/newsroom/business)?
  11. Describe for me your most ideal work environment.
  12. Can you tell me about a situation that was difficult and you were able to overcome it?
  13. Explain how you will add value to our company if hired.
  14. What did you love best about your last full-time position?
  15. Why should we hire you?
  16. What’s one thing you would like to do better? What’s your plan for improving?
  17. How do you make decisions?
  18. If you were limited to just one person to get advice and help from, which person would you choose? Why?
  19. What would you do if you made an important business decision and a co-worker challenged it?
  20. Describe a time when you were asked to do something you weren’t trained to do. How did you handle it?
  21. Describe the boss who would get the very best work from you.
  22. Assume that you come to work here. One year from now you go home one Friday evening thinking that accepting this job was the best thing you ever did. What happened during the year for you to feel that way?
  23. Please describe an instance where you had to make a decision without all of the necessary information.” – Analytics, athenahealth
  24. Give me 48 cents using six coins. Tell me quantity and value of the six coins.” – Human Resource Manager, Wintec
  25. If a coworker had an annoying habit, and it hindered your quality of work, how would you resolve it?” – Production Technician, Procter & Gamble
  26. Throw your resume aside and tell me what makes you you.” – Sales Executive, Zillow
  27. Would you rather know a lot about a little or a little about a lot?
  28. What are your weaknesses?
  29. Describe yourself in three words
  30. What has been your greatest achievement?
  31. Why should we choose you for this role?
  32. How will you contribute to the team?
  33. Describe a situation where you have gone above and beyond
  34. Describe a project you have handled
  35. What attracted you to this company?
  36. Describe a situation where you have had others follow your lead
  37. Name a time where you have worked under pressure
  38. What attributes do you have that will support you in this role?
  39. Are you a competitive person?
  40. What are you hoping to get out of life?
  41. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them how would you choose which ones to answer?” — Asked at Dropbox
  42. How do you motivate others?
  43. In a team environment, what role do you usually take on?
  44. If you have a say in the decision taken by management and if you are quite against theirs, will you stick on with your decision?
  45. How do you define success and how do you measure it?
  46. Tell me about the biggest mistake you ever made at work and what did you do about it?
  47. How do you evaluate success?
  48. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
  49. What inspires you? (Vault)
  50. Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes. (Quora)
  51. What are you known for? (Quora)
  52. What do you work toward in your free time? (Quora)
  53. What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? (Vault)

Boring list:

  1. Tell me about yourself. – Tadaa!
  2. What are you expecting from your job?
  3. What’s your communication style?
  4. How do you interact with a manager?
  5. How do you deal with stress?
  6. What are your problem-solving skills like?
  7. Are you organized? Are you a good multitasker? Do you work well on teams? Do you work well on a deadline?
  8. What would you do if another member of staff asked you to do something?

I have missed quite a lot – to add all the stupid questions out there, it could take days 🙂 But if you have something interesting to share, please add your comments in the comments section below.

Aspire is a new platform that utlises the power of technology & machine learning to change the way recruitment works. Forever. To request an invitation please enter your details below or visit Aspireapp.co

 

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