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Weird intervieW questions that
hiring managers ask candidates

From ice cream to spirit animals to garden gnomes, this is how to prepare your
answers to off beat questions.
Monster staff
As you prepare answers to common
job interview questions, you should
also expect some curveballs. Interview
questions aren’t always about your
skills and work experience. After all,
there’s only so much of your personality
a recruiter can absorb from asking you
about your proficiency with PowerPoint.
From determining your spirit animal
to which famous person you would
choose to be for a day, hiring managers
like to force you off the traditional
path to see how you think and what
that reveals about you. Don’t let these
intentionally weird interview questions
trip you up.
Monster asked almost 150 recruiters
to tell us some of the most unusual
questions they’ve asked job candidates,
and why. The questions can be grouped
into four main categories:
1. Hypothetical situations
2. Preferences and opinions
3. Morality tests
4. Travel
Let’s take a closer look at these
categories and some examples of
interview questions.

1. Hypothetical situations
This is the most popular category under
which the weird interview questions
fall. Recruiters ask candidates to
pretend they’re in a certain situation or
to imagine themselves as someone or
something else. Many questions involve
getting to know a historical person:
• “What president would you like to have
dinner with and why?”

• “Who would you love to have dinner
with, alive or dead?”
• “If you could spend a day with anyone in
the world, alive or dead, who would it be,
what would you talk about, and why this
These kinds of questions are meant to
test your creative thinking. One recruiter
said he was looking for“creativity, depth
of response, and knowledge of history.”
Another wanted to see “how unusual,
different, unique the candidate is and
how they handle an unusual situation.”
questions are more complex so as to
assess your problem-solving skills. The
answer is less important than the logic
you use to arrive at your answer. For
• “Imagine you got lost in a country where
no one spoke your language and there
was no internet, what would you do to
get home?”
The interviewer wants to see that you
are able to keep a cool head and come
up with a plan of action on the spot.
The final type of hypothetical question
is one that wants you to imagine
yourself as another person or inanimate
object. Some examples:
• If you could be any famous person in the
world, who will you be and why?
• If you were a part on a bicycle, what
would it be and why?
• If you were to pick an animal, what
animal best describes your professional

Obviously, there are no right answers to
hypothetical questions. The interviewer
is keen to see how quickly you can
respond and provide justification for
your answers. Interviewers also use
these kinds of questions as a way to
get you to relax a little and show off a
bit of your personality. This is why it’s
important to back up your answers with
some substantial reasons.

2. Preferences and opinions
Like hypotheticals, questions that ask
you to choose between two options or
give your opinion are meant to lighten
the atmosphere and let your personality
shine through. Such questions are often
a good indication of whether or not
you’d be a good cultural fit. For example:
• “What is better, a cat or a dog?”
• “What do you think of garden gnomes?”
• “Where do you like to eat?”
• “What’s your favorite flavor of ice
Again, there’s no right answer to any
of these questions. Your explanation
is what’s of particular interest to hiring
managers. Do you seize up at these
questions, or can you relax a bit and
engage the interviewer with a short,
entertaining story to justify your

3. Morality tests
Your personal values are a good
indicator of whether or not a job will be
a good fit for you. Naturally, interviewers
are going to want to see how you deal
with questions that are intended to go
against the grain. For example:

Don’t get thrown by weird interview questions.
• “What would be the one crime you
would commit if you knew for certain
you could get away with it? And if you
did so, would your own conscience get
to you since the judicial system didn’t?”

ability to think quickly. Again, they’re
more concerned with the quality of
your answer over one particular answer.

• “What’s your worst sin of the seven
deadly sins?”

Job interviews are stressful on their
own, without the wacky questions
being thrown into the mix, but they
present excellent opportunities to let
your personality take center stage.
While you certainly want to talk about
your talent and capabilities, if you’re not
going to mesh with the personalities
of the people in the company, chances
are the job will be a bust. The key is
planning your answers ahead of time
so you don’t choke on the spot. Could
you use some help with that? Join
Monster for free today. As a member,
you can get interview insights, career
advice, and job search tips sent directly
to your inbox. From why you want to
work at the company to describing
your personality to why you want to
be a professional deep-sea diver for a
day, Monster can show you how to craft
strong answers and back them up.

Recruiters use these questions to
determine your character. They’re not
hoping for a particular answer but they
do want the question to be answered
sufficiently. One recruiter said they
ask questions like this “to see how [the
candidate] reacts to the question, how
honest they are, and how polished the
answer is.”

4. Travel
The final category of weird interview
questions focuses on travel, both where
you’ve been and where you’d like to be.
For example:
• “What’s the most unusual, unique, crazy,
or weird place you have ever visited?”
• “What is the rare once-in-a-lifetime
vacation you have taken or want to
As with previous questions, recruiters
are hoping your answer will help them
to assess cultural fit, as well as your

The right answers


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