After a Strange 2020, Get Ready For OddballInterview Questions in 2021
As we reach the end of the oddest year most of us have ever seen, Dallas, Phoenix, and nationwide tech job candidates should brace themselves for oddball interview questions next year. After all, no one would have asked you, “How did you spend your time in quarantine?” in 2019.
But strange or awful questions from interviewers are nothing new. Tech job candidates have had to parry bad, head-scratching, or frivolous interview questions for years. Even interviewees who prepare backward and forward can find themselves perplexed and confused by a hiring manager’s out-of-left-field questioning.
Why Ask Weird, Oddball Interview Questions?
While not every tech job interviewer in Phoenix, Dallas, and nationwide will ask weird questions, many of them do because they believe unexpected questions will give them insights about the candidate they may not get from traditional lines of questioning. Other than serving as a source for the interviewer’s amusement, oddball interview questions can:
- Force a candidate out of their comfort zone
- Reveal how well the interviewee responds under pressure
- Assess the candidate’s ability to think logically
- Draw out the individual’s personality
Real Oddball Interview Questions
Truth is stranger than fiction, and many actual interview questions are far weirder than what you could come up with if you tried. Imagine looking across the table (or monitor) and coherently answering these very real gems:
- “Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?”
- “If you’re a CEO, what are the first three things you check about your business when you wake up?”
- “What would the title of your debut album be?”
- “How would you sell ice in Antarctica?”
- “If I gave you $40,000, what kind of business would you start?”
- “What would you do if you found a penguin in your freezer?”
- “If you were a brand, what would be your motto?”
- “How many baseballs would fit in this room?”
- “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would scissors help you?”
- “How many square feet of pizza do Americans eat every year?”
- “If I asked you to unload a large airplane full of jellybeans, how would you do it?”
- “Who is your favorite Disney princess, and why?”
- “If someone wrote your biography, what would the title be?”
- “Are you a hunter or a gatherer?”
Questions About This Year
When monumental and/or tragic events occur (e.g., the Challenger explosion, 9/11, the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series), people often ask, “Where were you when….”
Years from now, when COVID-19 has become a distant memory, we will all reflect and appreciate the fact that we survived the challenges and madness of this year. Hopefully, the pandemic will be behind us soon. But the professional and personal upheaval of lockdowns, quarantines, and working virtually may be fodder for interview questions in 2021. For example:
- “What was the worst part of quarantine?”
- “What shows did you binge-watch while stuck at home?”
- “Did you start any new hobbies while locked down?”
- “What was your go-to comfort food?”
- “What was your favorite Zoom background?”
How to Handle Oddball Interview Questions
As annoyed as you may be when asked a bizarre question, the best you can do is try to come up with a responsive, thoughtful, and helpful answer to your goal of getting a job offer. Always keep in mind the job requirements and think about why the interviewer may be asking the question. Stay mindful of your body language and facial expressions, but feel free to be quietly and imperceptibly annoyed and belittled by such tech job interview questions.
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