Weird Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

women wearing a blue shirt preparing for a job interview with laptop and notepad

No matter what job you interview for, there will always be some questions you can guarantee will be asked. You should always go into an interview prepared to talk about your strengths and weaknesses, a time in your life you have had to deal with a difficult situation, and what skills and qualities you can take to their company. But every now and then you might get asked a seemingly bizarre and pointless question, which can scare even the best candidates into a panic, risking ruining all of your hard work at the last hurdle. Well fear no more, I’m about to tell you how to cope with anything they throw at you.

There is one question you need to keep in your mind at all times: Why are they asking me this? If you can answer that, you can answer anything (Here’s a clue, the answer is almost never about the question…)

How to Answer the Weirdest Job Interview Questions

1. Who would you rather be, Batman or Robin?

Are they asking you if you’d rather be a hero with a square chin and a penchant for vengeance, or his plucky teenage sidekick? Almost certainly not.

Don’t say:

I’d be Batman because I love fighting crime, and I have a deep voice.

Do say:

I see myself more as a Batman kind of person because I’m a confident, assertive person with strong leadership skills and I always see a job through to the end.

Alternatively,

I’m more like Robin, because I’m supportive, helpful and am able to follow instructions well.

Why are they asking this?

They want to know what qualities you have and how you perceive your own personality traits. If you’re looking for a lower level job, Robin is your guy. If you want to be seen as driven, motivated and a natural leader, go with Batman.

2. How many balloons would fit in this room?

They’re definitely not planning a surprise birthday party for you, this one is all about how you come up with your answer, so talk about your thought process.

Don’t say:

I have no idea! Loads, probably.

Do say:

Well, if a balloon is (x) size, and the room is (x) metres long, (x) metres wide and (x) metres high, I think you might be able to fit somewhere in the region of 1000 balloons in this room.

Alternatively,

I think I would need more information to give an accurate answer because it would depend heavily on the size and shape of the balloon. Is the room empty, or is all the furniture in it? I wouldn’t want to randomly guess.

Why are they asking this?

This question is all about problem-solving skills. The first answer shows that you have a logical mind, that you can think quickly, and can deal with situations using common sense. The second answer demonstrates great attention to detail. It shows the interviewer that you are a perfectionist who doesn’t like to take risks, and wants to work using a full resource of information. Definitely good if you are working in a job that is high risk or dangerous.

3. Sell me this glass of water.

The interviewer slowly pushes a full glass of water towards you. How can you possibly sell a glass of tap water to someone?! How much should you charge? What do you even say?!

Don’t say:

Do you want to buy this water? It’s really cheap! (Oh, and definitely don’t drink some of it to show how good it tastes!)

Do say:

You may have tried other water before, but this water is different. This crystal clear drink is sourced directly from local fresh-water springs. It has been chilled to the perfect drinking temperature, ideal for quenching your thirst during your busy working day. I can sell this refreshing glass of heaven to you right now for a very reasonable price. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! This is the only glass I have, but I’m willing to sell it to you.

Why are they asking this?

They don’t have money, and you’re definitely not going to make a profit out of this interview, but the question is very real. This is all about your ability to communicate and persuade, and more importantly to think quickly about something unexpected. A vital skill in many jobs these days. Even if you think your job doesn’t involve sales, it almost certainly will. You might have to sell an idea to your boss, a meal to a customer, or a pitch to a client.

4. If you had a song that played when you walked into a room, what would it be, and why?

Think of a boxer entering the ring, think of a Superhero flying in to save the day. When their song plays, it embodies everything that they represent. What song would you pick? And don’t worry, they’re not judging your taste in music!

Don’t say:

I’d probably pick a song by Ed Sheeran because he’s hot and he was once in Game of Thrones.

Do say:

Obviously you can pick any song you like, but here is my example…

I’d pick Paolo Nutini’s Pencil Full of lead. It’s such a great song! It’s lively, uplifting and is about being happy with everything you have. It’s all about positivity, which is a great theme song to enter a room with. I bring a lot of energy into my work, and that would be reflected by the music. Not to mention that it’s catchy and fun, and would cheer up the other people in the room too!

Why are they asking this?

Nobody really cares what music you sing along to in the shower, this question is all about expression of emotion. First rule is that no matter what song you pick, say it with passion! You’re choosing a song that represents everything that you are, so make sure you’re at least enthusiastic about your life. Oh, and try not to pick a depressing slow song. You don’t want to make the interview awkward by talking about Adele songs because they remind you of your ex…

We hope we’ve helped you to answer some of these weird job interview questions. If you’re looking for work in the UK and Ireland, British Study Centres offers free career advice alongside our English language courses at our monthly job clubs. 

 

George

About George

After more than a decade in management, George chose to follow his passion for English into a teaching career, and has been an EFL teacher since 2017. His ideas, enthusiasm and energy really show in both his lessons and around the school, helping to make BSC a better place for all. He also runs the Friday social club for students which includes monthly job clubs, book clubs, conversation clubs, and even a karaoke club!

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