Why Should You Ask Candidates Strange Interview Questions?

Are you tired of interviewing countless candidates with the same set of questions?

Ask a job seeker what their weaknesses are and you’re likely to hear the same rehearsed answer time and time again, ‘I work too hard’ or ‘I’m a perfectionist’. Ask the same candidate where they would go if they could go anywhere in the world and you’re unlikely to get a rehearsed and polishes answer. Whilst strange questions may seem pointless, they can reveal more about the personality of a candidate than the typical interview questions that the majority of employers use. 

When used correctly, unique, funny and strange interview questions can be a powerful tool for finding out more about a potential candidate. The idea is to get candidates to relax and reveal more about themselves than they would with a rehearsed interview answer. However, it is not worth incorporating these questions into the interview if you do not know what you are looking for. Interviewers have to know the type of person and attributes which are best suited for the role. For example, if you are looking to hire an accountant and you ask what would you do if you won the lottery, you’re going to want to hear they would put it in savings, pay off debt or increase their retirement fund, but if you are looking to hire a creative type you may want to hear they would spend the money travelling around the world.

When it comes to strange interview questions they typically fall under the categories of cultural fit, problem-solving skills and thought processes. The problem-solving ones are designed to see how quickly, accurately and creatively a person solves a problem. Thought process questions are designed to see how a candidate thinks and cultural fit questions are used to see if a candidate would fit well within a company. 

Although odd interview questions usually catch candidates off guard, they also demonstrate if a person can think on the spot. It’s not the job of the interviewer or the interviewee to actually know how many petrol stations there are in the UK, but it’s a useful tool to see how someone thinks through a problem. If you are planning on using strange questions in your next interview but are unsure where to begin, we’ve listed some great examples:

Strange Interview Questions

  1. How many sheep are in Wales?
  2. How many people are using Instagram in London at 2:30 pm on a Friday?
  3. If you could visit any country, where would you go?
  4. What songs best describes your work ethic?
  5. If you’re the CEO, what are the first three things you check about the business when you wake up?
  6. How would you get an elephant into a refrigerator?
  7. How many planes are currently flying over London?
  8. How many different ways can you get water from a lake at the foot of a mountain, up to the top of the mountain?
  9. If you were a social media channel, which one would you be?
  10. How many ridges [are there] around a quarter?
  11. What mantra do you live your life by?
  12. What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given?
  13. If you were an animal, what would you be?
  14. If you could own any car in the world, which one would you choose?
  15. How many traffic lights in Glasgow?
  16. What do wood and alcohol have in common?
  17. How do you weigh an elephant without using a weight machine?
  18. You are in charge of 20 people, organize them to figure out how many bicycles were sold in your area last year.
  19. How many lightbulbs are in this building?
  20. How many karaoke bars are there in Tokyo?