Candidates complain about the experiences they have during their job searches.
It takes too long, some company representatives are rude, they get no feedback or acknowledgement, and the people they interview with don’t really understand the open position. But the biggest complaint I hear is that the interview questions are silly.
Many hiring managers honestly don’t know what to ask. On the company side, company representatives are frustrated that they think they are hiring one person and someone completely different shows up on the first day of work. Not a different person, just not the person they thought they hired. They simply don’t know what to do about that.
Everyone is frustrated.
At a recent meeting to a business group about better ways to organize a job search, someone asked about unusual questions. Then coincidentally another friend sent the ultimate list of silly interview questions – Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions. Good timing!
How would you respond to these doozies:
- “If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?”
- “If you could throw a parade of any caliber through this office what type of parade would it be?”
- “Can you instruct someone how to make an origami “cootie catcher” with just words?”
Or my personal favorite:
- “You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be and why?”
Please tell me how these questions give insight into a candidate? How should you even respond to that question? I supposed these questions are one way to gauge a candidate’s ability to think on his or her feet. I guess that is critical if you are interviewing someone for a job as a standup comedian. But if you are looking for an accountant or an engineer, hard to see the application.
I don’t like unusual questions. I like questions that are related to what you want to learn about the candidate.
My advice to hiring managers is to think a bit harder about what knowledge, skills and abilities you need in the person you hire then formulate questions around those important factors.
My advice to candidates is to prepare for whatever smart or silly questions the hiring manager might throw at you. Find a list of Frequently Asked Questions on our website and check out the Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions. Write out your answers in advance and practice your responses until they come out smoothly. Most important, be clear what you want the hiring manager to know about you before you go into the interview.