A job interview is a huge mixed-bag of energy, anxiety, and excitement. Now that you’ve made the first cut it is time to prepare and rehearse for the big day. You have developed solid responses to the expected questions such as the dreaded “Tell me about your biggest weakness.” You are even confident in responding to the broadly stated “Tell me about yourself.”, but what if the interviewer throws you a curveball?

Many hiring managers are using seemingly bizarre questions that are unrelated to work experience, education, ambitions, etc. The recruiters who champion this style of questioning say that it gets past candidates rehearsed answers and provides a glimpse into the real person. Many also say that it shows them how an applicant thinks on their feet and their creativity.

While you should still prepare for the questions you know will come your way, it is becoming increasingly likely that you’ll face an inquiry that more resembles a Monty Python sketch than a job interview. I scoured the Web and made this list of my favorite off-the-wall interview questions. Are they effective? The jury is out on this, but they are gaining a little bit of traction. The big question is, how would you respond to these?

A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

How many windows do you estimate there are in Manhattan?

Why are manholes round?
If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?
Why are tennis balls fuzzy?
If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?
How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the U.S. each year?

How would you describe the color yellow to someone who is blind?

Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

Jeff Bezos walks into your office and says you can have a million dollars to launch your best entrepreneurial idea. What is it?

If I came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare?

Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?

Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.

How many golf balls can you fit into an Airbus 380?

If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose and why?

Can you tell me 10 things you can do with a pencil other than write.

How many gas stations are there in the United States?

Just entertain me for five minutes. I’m not going to talk.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of one of these oddball questions relax and think it through. The hiring manager is not interested in how many ping pong balls fit in an airplane. They are interested in your thought process and how you arrive at your answer. Happy hunting… or gathering.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.