Word to the wise job candidate: Be ready for anything.
Career website glassdoor.com asked recent interviewees across the U.S. to reveal the most challenging interview questions they’d been asked—and the queries that came in were mind-boggling.
A structural analysis candidate at SpaceX Propulsion was asked: “When a hot dog expands, which way does it split and why?” A Trader Joe’s hopeful got: “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?”
“Employers ask oddball questions, with no right or wrong answers, to see how you solve problems, prioritize, and show creativity,” says the site’s Allison Berry. “So, slow down, take a deep breath, and walk them through your thinking process.”
For example: “For the hot dog question, you might first ask whether the hot dog’s grilled or microwaved,” she says. (A good stall if ever we’ve heard one.) Then calmly apply your knowledge to give an answer— without getting rattled or frustrated.
And if all else fails… tell a joke and run!
More Wacky Queries from Real-Life Job Interviews:
- “Would you rather fight one horse-size duck, or 100 duck size horses?”— Whole Foods Market
- “How would you sell hot cocoa in Florida?”— J.W. Business Acquisitions
- “If you have $2,000, how would you double it in 24 hours?”— Uniqlo
- “How many basketballs would fit in this room?”— Delta Airlines Revenue
- “If you were a brand, what would your motto be?”— Boston Consulting Group
- “What would the name of your debut album be?”— Urban Outfitters