Are you a hunter or a gatherer? Oddball interview questions that “give a lot of work”

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JirafaWe all know that the Human Resources staff have never been too loved or “popular” among the people seeking for a job. We face them in the feared interviews, generally extremely nervous and wishing to lose sight of them as soon as possible. We are ready (or we should be) to be asked the most common job interview questions; we’ll be able to get away with talking about our “strengths and weaknesses”, we’ll have the reasons of our interest for working in the company pretty clear and we’ll even seem convincing when explaining where we see ourselves 5 or 10 years from now. But, if it was asked to us in an interview, , would we be able to explain how to put a giraffe inside a fridge? Or to calculate how many cows are there in Canada?

The job interviews for companies like Google or Apple have been particularly well-known for their oddball and unexpected questions, for which there is no possible preparation. Every question is asked with a goal in mind and that of these ones could be to assess the spontaneity, flexibility, intelligence, sense of humor and the way of reacting to unforeseen situations by the candidates.

Google and Apple are not the only companies that like making this kind of questions. We leave a small compilation of some of them below:

  • How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle? (Facebook)
  • You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? (Urban Outfitters)
  • If you arrived at your office and had 2.000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer? (Dropbox)
  • Lápices de coloresWho would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman? (Stanford University)
  • How would you describe the color yellow to somebody who’s blind? (Spirit Airlines)
  • Would you rather fight against a duck as big as a horse or against a hundred horses as big as ducks? (BHP Billiton)
  • How many golf balls fit in a school bus? (Google)
  • How would you explain Facebook to your grandmother? (Huddle)
  • What’s the color of money? (American Heart Association)
  • If our company gave you a million dollars with the condition that you’d have to pay it back in 3 years, what would you do with it? (Labatt)
  • On a scale from one to ten, how would you rate me as an interviewer? (Kraft)
  • How would you sell a fridge to an Eskimo? (Harrods)
  • If you were a pizza deliveryman how would you benefit from scissors? (Apple)
  • How lucky are you and why? (Airbnb)
  • How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the US each year? (Goldman Sachs)
  • If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you, and why? (SinglePlatform)Pizza boxes
  • Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? (Dell)
  • A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? (Clark Construction Group)
  • Have you ever stolen a pen from work? (Jiffy Software)
  • What do you think about when you are alone in your car? (Gallup)

Fortunately for the candidates, companies are using less and less this kind of peculiar questions in their job interviews. Google even admitted that they were “a waste of time” and that “they don’t predict anything and they serve primarily to make the interviewer feel smart”.

In any case, the only possible advice for a question of this kind would be not to lose too much time trying to find out the goal of the respective question and to simply answer honestly and directly what we are asked, as weird as it may be.

Have you ever been asked something very unusual in your job interviews in Germany?


Text: Aitor Sendino Fernández

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