When it comes to job interviews – hiring managers don’t just ask the usual questions anymore, like, “Why did you leave your last job?” and, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” They’ll also likely throw in a few off-the-wall questions that have nothing to do with the job in question, like asking a CPA applicant, “Which sci-fi movies do you prefer – Star Wars, or Star Trek?” One company that excels at wacky questions is the online shoe seller Zappos.com. Their interviewers ask all kinds of creative questions, like:
- “If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?”
- “If you had a theme song that played every time you walked into a room, what would it be and why?”
Other off-the-wall questions include:
- “On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you? Why did you choose that number?”
- “What was your best MacGyver moment?”
The truth is – most of the questions don’t have a right answer. The interviewers are simply tired of asking the same questions over and over, and they want to see how fast you can think on your feet.They also want to see how well you can explain the answers you choose, because that shows your reasoning skills. Bottom line: What matters is having an answer, and being able to explain why you said what you did.
Still, pay close attention if the question has an ethical element, like: “If you saw someone steal a quarter, would you report it? If not, what dollar amount would you report?” That question’s designed to see how honest you are. Here’s one word of warning: Some unethical hiring managers ask off-the-wall questions to try to trip applicants up, and get you to answer questions they’re not allowed to ask. Like, “Are you married or something?” Or none-of-their-business questions like, “Do you get migraines?” and “Do you go to church?”