What kind of gerbil are you? Star Wars or Star Trek? How would you weigh an elephant without a scale?
Yes, the tech industry comes up with some wacky interview questions.
Job review site Glassdoor today published its annual list of top “oddball” interview questions based on thousands of data points shared by tech industry job candidates over the past year. The company takes into account community feedback and compiles a range of questions “that give job seekers a better idea as to what may come up in an interview.”
Below, you’ll also see the top 10 “oddball interview questions” for all jobs in the U.S., not just for the tech industry — Glassdoor also compiled lists for Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and the Netherlands, as well as a list for the 50 most common interview questions (not just for the tech industry).
How would you answer these?
Top 10 oddball tech interview questions in the U.S.
1. “If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?” — Dropbox Rotation Program job candidate (San Francisco, CA)
2. “If you were a gerbil, which kind of gerbil would you be?” — Airbnb Software Engineer job candidate (San Francisco, CA).
3. “If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?” — Hubspot Account Manager job candidate (San Francisco, CA)
4. “How many pairs of shoes are in Boston right now?” — Microsoft Service Engineer job candidate (Redmond, WA)
5 “Star Wars or Star Trek?” – The Zappos Family Fungineer job candidate (Las Vegas, NV)
6. “How can you weigh an elephant without a scale?” — Amazon Decommissioning Technician job candidate (McLean, VA)
7. “If all the hard drive supplies in the world were wiped out, what could you do to make more computers?” — Dell Supply Chain Strategy job candidate (Austin, TX)
8. “If a nerf football hit you in the back of the head, what would you do? — Expedia Associate Systems Administrator job candidate (Chandler, AZ)
9. “You are in a room with two iron rods. One is magnetized and the other isn’t. There are no other metals in the room. How do you figure out which one is magnetized?” — Workday Associate Applications Developer job candidate (New York, NY)
10. “How would you stand out in a crowd of 1000 people? — Hewlett-Packard Technical Solutions Sales Associate job candidate (Atlanta, GA)
Top 10 oddball interview questions in the U.S.
1. “When a hot dog expands, in which direction does it split and why?” — SpaceX Propulsion Structural Analyst job candidate (New York, NY)
2. “Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?” — Whole Foods Market Meat Cutter job candidate (Lexington-Fayette, KY)
3. “If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?” — Dropbox Rotation Program job candidate (San Francisco, CA)
4. “What would the name of your debut album be?” — Urban Outfitters Sales Associate job candidate (New York, NY)
5. “How would you sell hot coco in Florida?” — J.W. Business Acquisitions Human Resources Recruiter job candidate (Atlanta, GA)
6. “If I gave you $40,000 to start a business, what would you start?” — Hubspot Account Manager job candidate (San Francisco, CA)
7. “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?” — Trader Joe’s job candidate (Orange, CA)
8. “If you were a brand, what would be your motto?” — Boston Consulting Group Consultant job candidate (Washington, D.C.)
9. “How many basketballs would fit in this room?” — Delta Airlines Revenue Management Co-op job candidate (Cincinnati, OH)
10. “If you had $2,000, how would you double it in 24 hours?” — Uniqlo Management Trainee job candidate (Los Angeles, CA)
Top 50 most common interview questions
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Why are you interested in working for [insert company name here]?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- Why was there a gap in your employment between [insert date] and [insert date]?
- What can you offer us that someone else can not?
- What are three things your former manager would like you to improve on?
- Are you willing to relocate?
- Are you willing to travel?
- Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
- Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
- What is your dream job?
- How did you hear about this position?
- What would you look to accomplish in the first 30 days/60 days/90 days on the job?
- Discuss your resume.
- Discuss your educational background.
- Describe yourself.
- Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you looking for a new job?
- Would you work holidays/weekends?
- How would you deal with an angry or irate customer?
- What are your salary requirements? (Hint: if you’re not sure what’s a fair salary range and compensation package, research the job title and/or company on Glassdoor.)
- Give a time when you went above and beyond the requirements for a project.
- Who are our competitors?
- What was your biggest failure?
- What motivates you?
- What’s your availability?
- Who’s your mentor?
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss.
- How do you handle pressure?
- What is the name of our CEO?
- What are your career goals?
- What gets you up in the morning?
- What would your direct reports say about you?
- What were your bosses’ strengths/weaknesses?
- If I called your boss right now and asked him what is an area that you could improve on, what would he say?
- Are you a leader or a follower?
- What was the last book you’ve read for fun?
- What are your co-worker pet peeves?
- What are your hobbies?
- What is your favorite website?
- What makes you uncomfortable?
- What are some of your leadership experiences?
- How would you fire someone?
- What do you like the most and least about working in this industry?
- Would you work 40+ hours a week?
- What questions haven’t I asked you?
- What questions do you have for me?