- Do you know the answer to this: How do you get an elephant in the fridge?
- Could you reply to this: If you were a fruit, what kind would you be?
How do you prepare for a job interview? Researching the company? Working out your strengths and weaknesses? Or trying to predict what kind of questions you might be asked?
Along with the ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ and ‘What will you bring to the company?’ type questions, have you ever considered what you would say if asked – If you were a fruit what fruit would you be?’
If not, we’ve compiled a short list of the top 10 weirdest and toughest interview questions that have been asked by employers in the UK.
Would you be able to tell your potential new employer how you would fit an elephant into a fridge?
The list has been compiled with information from tens of thousands of employees on the jobs and careers website Glassdoor.
It covers a wide-range of industries and along with the hardest questions asked, employees have also shared tips on how to give the right answer and land your next job.
Read the questions below, with details of which companies asked them, and then check at the bottom for the best ways to answer.
The ten toughest interview questions
1. ‘Which magic power would you like to have?’
Asked by Topshop, Portsmouth, to a sales assistant candidate
2. ‘If you were a fruit, what kind would you be and why?’
Asked by TopdeskTravel, London, to a trip leader candidate
3. ‘If you could have dinner with three actors that are no longer living, who would you pick?’
Asked by Blackberry, Berkshire, to a commercial director job candidate
4.’How many hours would it take to clean every single window in London?’
Asked by IBM, Portsmouth, to an IT role job candidate
5.’How do you get an elephant in a fridge?’
Asked by Germalto, London, to a software engineer candidate
6. ‘If the time is quarter past three, what is the angle measurement on the clock?’
Asked by Standard Bank Group, London, to a product control lead candidate
7. ‘If you had three minutes alone in a lift with the CEO, what would you say?’
Asked by Network Rail, London, to a management accountant candidate
8. ‘How many people born in 2013 were named Gary?’
Asked by BT, London, to a senior proposition manager candidate
9. ‘What will you be famous for?’
Asked by EY, London, to a director candidate
10. ‘How many nappies are purchased per year in the UK?’
Asked by Aviva, London, to a graduate programme candidate
THE GENIUS ANSWERS TO SECURE YOUR NEXT POSITION
Can you work out how long it would take to clean all the windows in London?
‘Which magic power would you like to have?’
How long is a piece of string? There is no right answer to this and it’s the kind of question that is asked to test how you cope under pressure.
A power that improves the way you perform at work would be handy – the ability to speak any language or never needing to sleep – but employers will see through this quickly so it’s best to stick to something you truly believe you would like to have – unless you’re an exceptional blagger.
How many people born in 2013 were named Gary?’
In 2013 there were only 28 babies named Gary out of 700,000 according to the Office of National Statistics.
When the ONS data was published this story hit quite a few headlines so you might have seen it.
If not, and you’ve no idea, guess. The name has been pretty much extinct for the past few years so it’s likely to be low.
‘If you were a fruit, what kind would you be and why?’
Pineapple, mango or kiwi? Again with this one there’s not really a perfect answer. Instead of picking your favourite, try and go for a fruit you can use to describe your own personality and strengths.
The reasons you give are more to do with how you can use own experiences and skills to benefit the company rather than what fruit you would pick from the fruit bowl.
‘If you could have dinner with three actors that are no longer living, who would you pick?’
This question is geared up to allow you to talk about people in your life who you might find interesting or inspiring.
With each actor you choose, think of several examples of how the work they’ve done has influenced or inspired you – and how you can bring this back to your career.
There were only 28 babies in 2013 called Gary – could you remember this for an interview question?
Remember – if you’re naming people because you think they’ll make you sound intelligent you won’t get anywhere if you’ve just said a name to sound impressive but don’t actually have a clue who they are.
‘How many hours would it take to clean every single window in London?’
To work this out you’ll need a lot longer than the time given in an interview so therefore the answer you give is more to do with how you think about the process of solving the question – rather than coming up with the answer itself.
Add to this the fact buildings are popping up all the time in London, just take the stat last year that 260 new tower blocks were currently planned for the London skyline, and it’s a near-on impossible task to come up with a factually correct reply.
Instead think about how many people there are in London – eight million – and how many businesses – 3 million listed on Companies House for the whole of the UK – and you can start to think about the answer.
However, when you start factoring in the size of the window and the ability of the window cleaner, you’re on sticky ground.
Replying with an answer on how you would go about finding out an approximate number will work in your favour as it shows how you deal with pressure and problem solving.
‘How do you get an elephant in a fridge?’
How big is the fridge?
Approach this one by considering why you would ever need to get an elephant in a fridge. As the reasons are pretty bizarre (unless perhaps you’re a zookeeper?) it’s better to creatively consider it and answer something like – ‘Take the giraffe out first’.
This way you’ve considered the size and practical issues and instead of questioning the action you’re finding a response to it.
‘If the time is quarter past 3, what is the angle measurement on the clock?’
The answer is 7.5 degrees. As the hour hand moves around the clock every 12 hours and there is 360 degrees in 12 hours or 30 degrees per hour.
The hour hand points exactly at the 3 at 3 o’clock and when 15 minutes has passed the hour hand will be pointing 7.5 degrees past it.
Finding out how many nappies are bought each year is more to do with how you work under pressure
‘If you had three minutes alone in a lift with the CEO, what would you say?’
This is not the time for waffling, you’re being asked to give a succinct summary which shows your skills and characteristics and interest in the company you’ may be about to join.
Steer clear from the ‘How did you get where you were’ type questions and go for something which will make you stand out and memorable.
‘What will you be famous for?’
Solving world peace? Curing cancer? Go for something you truly believe in which you can also link back to the benefit of the company.
‘How many nappies are purchased per year in the UK?’
Unless you work at Pampers it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pull this one out of your sleeve. You could make a rough estimate by approximating the birth rate, and how many a baby would need every day and go from there.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online