Job interviews are well-known for their stress-inducing nature. The interviewee is under considerable pressure to make a quick and lasting impression in order to secure the job. However, it’s important to recognize that interviews are a two-way street. The interviewer’s demeanor and the types of questions they ask can be quite telling about the company’s culture and values.
If an interviewer behaves unusually, shows inappropriate tendencies, or poses offbeat questions, this can be a revealing indicator of the organizational environment and ethos of the potential employer. This point was vividly highlighted in a popular Reddit discussion, where individuals shared some of the strangest questions they’ve encountered in interviews. These anecdotes serve as a reminder that interviewers are just ordinary people, and keeping this in mind can help alleviate some of the nervousness before an interview.
My GF was recently asked on an interview:
What weapon would you want to have in a zombie apocalypse?
She answered ‘light saber”
They asked why.
She said because it doesn’t run out of ammo or get dull.
They seemed to like that answer she said.
I got hired and quit this same day. I turned 19 and was looking for something full time. I got a call for an interview at some promotion business. I get called into a room where my new boss was sitting, he was very friendly and nice but it all became very very weird very quickly. He asks me normal interview questions: “What made you want to apply? Do you have experience in promotion work? Where do you see yourself in this company?” Eventually he trails off to make small talk which would be normal if it wasn’t weird. He asks, “How old are you? Oh wow you’re young. I think you’ll have an easy time here, you’re very beautiful. Very beautiful. You know, as soon as you walked in here I just felt something. You have such a strong energy, I don’t know if it’s that smile or your charisma.” I was very shy, I did not have a bubbly personality at all. He sent me “out on the field” along side another girl to test the waters I suppose. We stood infront of a well know bar where our “mentor” told us that the promotion at his stand was to sell backpacks for kids in need of school supplies. After he explained that, he called my boss and said I was a good fit. Immediately after that my boss called and was like, “I KNEW you had it in you. Ahh, I don’t know what it is about you *my name* but you just have something amazing going on. I already decided not to go with *the other girl I was with* because it’s your name I want to see up here with mine.” I told him I was late for class and sped back to campus where I told my teacher why I was late and what had happened. He instructed me to quit immediately.
“If you were given a Black Rhinoceros and you couldn’t sell it or give it away, what would you do with it?” I don’t know what that question tells anyone. I said something along the lines of “I think they’re endangered so I wouldn’t kill it for meat. I would lend it to a zoo that could house it for me and take care of it in return they can use it for breeding and research.” They liked the answer.
If I hire you as the HR manager will you go and F all the nurses? Because that is what the former HR manager did. (let’s call this guy Hospital CEO)
“Why do you know [insert name of childhood best friends older sibling] on Facebook?” That was the first question. I had to explain the story and it turned out they dated. Turns out we had 35 mutual friends and went to the same high school, grew up in the same area, and she cried (super pregnant at the time) and hugged me and told me I had the job if I wanted it.
“What would you do if someone started shouting at you in a meeting?”
I responded that I’d just leave the meeting. I don’t get paid to babysit. if someone wants to act like a child I’ll leave them to it. The interviewer seemed taken aback while the other guys where chuckled.
Turns out the guy who asked the question had a habit of raising his voice to people who disagreed with him.
I ended up getting the job and found out the guy was just super invested in the product he was developing. Like he had patents on it, books written, etc. So when he’s in a meeting and gives an input, and someone disagrees with him, he will not let it go until they are on board because in almost every case he IS right. He was a great guy and I miss working with him.
He never raised his voice with me, though.
Last question in an interview for being a bank teller “if you could be any kind of fruit what kind of fruit would you be and why?” I said a mangosteen. Years later I asked him about that question, he said he just wanted to know what people would say. He said there were no wrong answers.
In the middle of an IT job interview I got a “who do you consider your most inspirational historical figure?”
I couldn’t think of anything else on the spot so I said “Joan of Arc”, then listed the details of the Joan of Arc campaign from Age of Empires 2.
I got the job
“Do you like to laugh?” -asked by the most stoic woman who worked in that office. I laughed in response and got the job. Apparently I answered correctly
“Tell me about the lowest point in your life.” This was after living through the pandemic, postpartum depression, and the death of over a dozen family, friends, and my dog in the span of two years. I kept it light and relevant to my career so not to trauma dump, but in my mind I was replying with a very loud “TF is that!?”
During an interview my insulin pump went off (it does this quite often). My potential boss asked me if I had to wear it all the time. I said yes and explained I was a type 1 diabetic. They then asked me if I could leave my insulin pump in a locket for a 8 hour shift. No, I can’t. It got awkward. I didn’t get the job.
What’s your pet peeve? Told em it was people talking on their phones in public with the speaker on. Panel of 6 and four were guilty of it. I did not get the job.
Are you comfortable dissecting sheep organs? Around the same time, I was asked if I was comfortable handling a live tarantula at another interview for a different job… For clarity sake: I do not work in any animal centric/husbandry related fields.
For residency, I was asked why I didn’t do a bunch of research projects my intern year. Because I was working 95 hours a week like the rest of the interns? C’mon, man.
For the job I have now, “there’s no dress code, no drug test, and people learn things the hard way here.” Didn’t quite understand that last one, until I split my middle finger open with a hammer and was handed hydrogen peroxide, gauze tape and a few band aids. Also cut my palm open with a skill saw (my own dumb a*s fault trying to do something in a hurry, was told, well you got another hand.
I do love my job though.
“I understand that you are profoundly deaf. […] Will you be available for a phone interview with the HR?” I was overwhelmed by the stupidity of someone who made 80K a year.
I’m a paraplegic. I’ve been asked in a job interview, “How could you possibly use a computer?”
Another time, I was asked, “Do you really need to use that wheelchair?” They were worried about how a wheelchair could negatively impact the office culture or environment.
People have NO CLUE how to interact with disabled folks sometimes.
Other than the pay (20k less) being less than what was originally offered to you, do you have any concerns about the job?… I was offered the job and turned it down. They were surprised I didn’t take on the opportunity.
Had an interview with a panel of three guys. Each would ask questions. It was a very professional environment and job position. All normal questions thus far then the lead interviewer said okay, I have one last question. Can you kick or throw a ball farther. I thought odd but said kick a ball farther. Then the next one chimed in and said what kind of alcoholic drink to you prefer, beer or hard drink. I said both. The last guy wanted to be part of this and just said ‘penis or vagina’ I was quite shocked of the question but played the game with them and only responded with, depends on which alcoholic drink I had earlier. They all laughed and said the job was mine. I didn’t take the job and ended up at a different company and much more successful end.
My favorite swear word. (It was an interview with someone I’d been working with for years and he was mostly kidding, just asked to break up the seriousness!)
I pretended to take it seriously and answered honestly. And got the job.
Him : You’re not into older women are you?
Me : umm… I guess not. Why do you ask?
Him : I came home one day to find my boss f*****g my wife. I’m making sure nobody f***s my wife again.
I had tears in my eyes trying to hold back the laughter. I got the job though.
Interviewer: “You don’t have any kids?”
Me: “No, not yet.”
Interviewer: “You’re Mexican, aren’t you?”
Me: “You can’t ask that during an interview.”
Dude went bright red and apologized immediately before I burst out laughing. The interview was going well and I already had the job in the bag. At this point we were more or less just chatting.
“You mentioned on your background information forms you’ve pointed a weapon at someone and you’ve handled explosives, care to explain that to us in extreme detail?” At my interview for King County Sheriff’s Department ? found out from the HR they didn’t fail me for that and actually like my answer to it. Instead they failed me on the question of it’s almost the end of my shift and I pull over someone appearing to be under the influence, it’s the chief of police/sheriff of the next county/city to you, how do you handle this, and follow up, what if it was your own Sheriff? I told them I’d treat them exactly the same way I would for anyone else driving under the influence, only difference is I’d give my supervisor a courtesy call to tell them what’s going on. They were not happy with that ?
I was asked, “What is best in life?”. I answered, “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women.” I got the job.
Mall Security Guard:
” There a reason your legs are crossed like a f*****g woman?”
Meanwhile I had the boss man’s Muscle standing right on my a*s breathing heavy.
The rest of the interview was weird. Just a speech about not beating up people, but they made it seem like that’s all it was.
F*****g super glad I didn’t get that job.