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UK’s ‘Weirdest’ Interview Questions Revealed

Posted on: 30 Jun 2017

Our goal is to help you get the best quality of applicants for your food and drink industry jobs as possible using our search and selection services, but when it comes down to making the final decision for a role, the (hopefully) tough decision between top flight candidates will be down to you.

So, when confronted with applicants of equal calibre, how do you differentiate between them? After skills and experience are considered, the next big check on your list may well come down to personality. How well will this person work with your existing team? How do they perform under pressure?

These questions are not something you can gleam from a CV and cover letter alone, making the interview portion still such an important part of the recruitment process.

The problem with the modern-day interview is that the ‘traditional’ questions that have been asked time and time again to test a candidate’s self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses usually come with pre-packaged, cookie cutter answers that help them safely navigate the interview, but don’t give you real insight into a person.

The result? Interviewers coming up with new, sometimes unusual questions that put the applicant on the spot, forcing them to think on their feet.

The one question that hasn’t been asked until now, however, is how potential employees feel about being asked for ‘oddball’ answers.

According to a new study, reported by smallbusiness.co.uk, 52.1 per cent believe these kinds of questions are not the right tact to take, with 9.6 per cent saying they would be put off applying for a company which had a reputation for asking them.

62 per cent of respondents had been asked this sort of question before, while 35 per cent believe that the questions do not reveal whether someone is right for the job.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library which conducted the survey warned companies of the pressure candidates felt over novelty questions, but had advice if you do find them an effective tool: “Be sure you have collected all the important information first, so you can make a fair judgement based on the candidate’s ability to do the job and to contribute to the business.”

The study also asked for some of the weirdest questions applicants had been asked, asking applicants to explain why these questions were not well received.

They largely fall into two camps – those which are innocent enough, those which are deliberately weird to throw the applicant off guard and those which made the applicant question the organisation they were interviewing for.


Example 1  – If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be and why?’

This question undoubtedly tests self-awareness and creativity under pressure, as well as checking you know more than just Microsoft Word – and while the applicant found it quite funny, they were still stuck coming up with a coherent answer on the spot. Depending on the role, evaluate whether a question like this has merit in your interview.


Example 2 – If the bar was busy and a local came in from a farm smelly from muck spreading with his pet goose on a lead would you refuse to serve him?

This question seems to reveal more about the establishment and interviewer than it hopes to about the person who, in this case, was hoping to serve behind the bar.


Example 3 – Can you deal with banter?

In terms of fitting in with the existing workforce, inferred questioning of personality is much better than a direct approach such as this. For an employee this raises alarm bells form the get go

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