Career marketing is at its height as hiring managers search for new means to find the right candidate for the job. Whether it's social media, such as behemoth career networking site LinkedIn, or traditional recruiting, the world of human resources is changing. And so must those searching for the right fit.
Recently, major companies such as Dropbox, Google, Dell, and Apple have started polishing its interview policies. Gone are the days where hiring managers only asked common job interview questions about experience, skills, education, and job readiness. Now they mix in a little craziness just to shake the candidate and see where their mind is. Here are a few examples of crazy interview questions and why employers ask them.
Shipwrecked with Choices
If you were shipwrecked on a deserted island and had to choose from three people to help you, who would you choose. You can choose from ten people: the lawyer, the doctor, the carpenter, the ship's captain, the politician, the high school teacher, the cook, the scientist, the soldier and the policeman.
This question may seem silly at first, but it tells the hiring manager about the candidate's ability to adapt and their overall drive and personality. For example, if the person chooses the high school teacher, doctor, and carpenter, it would suggest they are planning to rebuild and start a new society. This shows the hiring manager the person is capable of bouncing back from a situation.
On the other hand, suppose the candidate chooses the ship's captain, lawyer, and carpenter. This shows a strong inclination the person values strong leadership over individual talents. But the ultimate scenario desired is the candidate who chooses the carpenter, the ship's captain, and the soldier. This shows they are planning to get off the island and turn lemons into lemonade.
If you were asked to unload a Boeing 747 full of jelly beans, what would you do first?
This crazy interview question gauges the candidate's ability to think outside of the box. A person who answers that would ask for help shows a strong inclination to team building. Some would say they would schedule time to unload the pile more efficiently. According to Bose, who frequently asks crazy interview questions, one of the most popular answers indicated the person's creativity, compassion towards others, and ability to solve problems on the spot. The person who received the highest praise said they would open the belly of the plane and dump the entire contents on a poor, starving country.
Others said they would order the cargo staff to unload the plane, while one even attempted to hide the beans. Whatever the answer, employers learned whether the candidate was able to make solid decisions on the spot or whether they could excel in a fast-paced atmosphere.
Clash of Titans
Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?
While this is the age-old question of comic book geeks everywhere, this simple question also shows the thought process behind answering strange questions. First Superman is super strong, able to fly, has heat vision and blizzard breath, and is virtually indestructible. On the other hand, while Batman is strong and fast, he is nowhere near as strong or fast as Superman. But Batman does have superior fighting skills, a utility belt full of dangerous surprises, and the cunning and wit of the best insane criminal.
One candidate said Batman's alter-ego, billionaire Bruce Wayne, has enough money to buy kryptonite and create a weapon to wound or even kill Superman. This shows the job seeker as an individual who doesn't give up until they have found a solution to a serious, unsolvable problem. This out of the box thinking is what helps these candidates succeed.
Get ready for the hard, crazy interview Questions
How can a candidate prepare themselves for these type of questions along with common job interview questions? Simple answer is there is no way to prepare for the unknown. It's how you work with the information that's important. The following do's and don'ts will help candidates make the best choice and win the job.
- Take time to understand what they are asking.
- Ask questions to see if more information is available.
- Consider the outcomes.
- Overthink the question.
- Go for the obvious answer.
- Say you don't know.
No matter what, whether you are asked only a few crazy interview questions or mostly common job interview questions, hiring managers have learned these often silly and strange questions cause candidates to use brain power they normally wouldn't exhibit. Any interviewer can ask them to solve a problem in their specialty, but what does that prove? Asking questions that force candidates in an uncomfortable and impossible situation brings out their true abilities and skills.