“If you were a color, what color would you be?”
“What is your spirit animal?”
“Which dinosaur do you most identify with?”
We’re all familiar with these off-the-wall interview questions. “Weird” job interview questions should not be used to simply throw candidates for a loop. Rather, they should reveal aspects of an applicant that can’t be established from a resume or cover letter. The best oddball questions reveal how an applicant thinks, deals with the unexpected and fits into the company culture.
Funny and odd interview questions can be a strong tool to discover information about a potential employee, as long as they are used properly. The interviewer should have a sense of the information the question is trying to uncover, such as a candidate’s creativity or proclivity for planning.
Consider using the following off-the-wall interview questions to fine the information each one is trying to illicit:
1) Would You Rather Have the Ability to Fly or the Ability to Turn Invisible?
We’re listening for candidates to discuss visibility. If you can fly, people will notice you. Obviously, they won’t notice you if you’re invisible.
In the workplace, leaders embrace visibility, and hiring managers looking to hire a leader or potential leader should want people who say they’d rather be able to fly than be invisible. On the other hand, if you’re looking to hire for an important position with low-visibility, you may not want to hire somebody who wants to fly.
2) What is in Your Refrigerator Right Now?
When some people shop for food, they buy for the entire week, maybe because they like to plan ahead, the security of knowing there’s food at home or minimizing trips to the store. Others go to the store on an almost daily basis because they want fresh food or to cut down on food waste.
The answer to this question and reasoning behind it can tell you a lot about candidates’ planning, adaptability, allocation of resources, etc.
3) How Did You Spend Your Last Vacation?
Vacation time is precious and how someone uses their vacation can tell you a lot about them. For instance, people who are open-minded might use their time off to seek out new experiences, while those who value hard work might spend their vacation time remodeling their home.
4) Have You Ever Stolen Office Supplies?
Let’s face it: We’ve all tucked a pen or two into our pocket at work and ending up keeping it at home. This question can help you gauge candidates’ honesty and comfort level in talking about ethical issues. Obviously, you don’t want someone talking about taking office supplies like it’s no big deal. You also should be suspicious of someone who says they have never, ever taken anything home from home and kept it.
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