The Most Heinous Interview Questions

jiFfMAs a manager I’ve been asked all kinds of strange questions by interviewees such as “what’s your jam?”  The applicant didn’t want to be “subjected to music that made one stupid” but didn’t bother to elaborate which I was cool with.

However, when you’re the one being interviewed it can seem like there are a ton of random questions that really don’t reveal anything about you to the interviewer.  So why do they ask them?  Maybe to see what you can come up with on the spot, but even then it reveals nothing when most companies are actually looking for candidates who are capable of mulling over a question and being thorough about coming to an answer.

The way to beat the interview is to be thoroughly prepared with the full force of your brand behind you.  When you can clearly and succinctly articulate your brand then the questions will answer themselves.

Once you familiarize yourself with what your brand is then you can quickly avoid being tripped up by some of the most off-topic interview questions such as these from Inc:

  • “If you could throw a parade of any caliber through the Zappos office, what type of parade would it be?” — The Zappos Family, customer loyalty team member
  • “How lucky are you and why?” — Airbnb, content manager
  • “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?” — Apple, specialist
  • “If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?” — Red Frog Events, event coordinator
  • “Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?” — Dell, account manager
  • “If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?” — Yahoo, search quality analyst
  • “If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?” — Bed Bath & Beyond, sales associate
  • “Do you believe in Bigfoot?” — Norwegian Cruise Line, casino marketing coordinator
  • “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?” — Xerox, client manager
  • “What is your least favorite thing about humanity?” — ZocDoc, operations associate
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