My first job interview (many many years ago) was made up of an entire series of 10 separate interviews, with 10 separate individuals from management. But what stood out for me and remains very deeply ingrained in my mind is the final question, from the final round of interview - with the man who would eventually become my boss. Just as I thought I was going to be done with the final interview, he completely sidelined me with this question: "If you have an open, working, fridge in a completely insulated room, would the temperature in the room eventually increase or decrease?"
Other than the fact that I was not applying for a job that was remotely associated with science, this question became a defining moment for me as it was a true test of thinking on my feet, and I remember spending precious microseconds in my mind, juggling between thinking if the interviewer was trying to be funny, or he really wanted an answer.
Fast track to today, I do use some funny or weird questions as an interviewer myself these days - mostly to see the response of the candidate. Many behavioural aspects of the candidate actually emerges during such questions, and hence its quite a favoured tactic among interviewers to ask at least one weird question.
What are the interviewers watching out for? Firstly, its how you react to the question. Do you calmly take on the challenge, do you process the issue logically, are you able to think on your feet? Secondly, when thrown off guard, your true personality usually shines through - are you funny, serious, creative, or do you express irritation at an irrelevant question? Thirdly, your verbal ability in providing an answer to something that is completely out of your comfort zone is usually a true test of your communication skills and style.
So here are some of these funny questions that I occasionally use for you to have a go at:
1. If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?
2. Why are manholes round?
3. Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?
4. What is your favourite cartoon and why?
As for the question on the open fridge, this was the response I provided - "As the fridge is working, electricity is adding energy into the room. Since this is a closed environment, the temperature of the room should increase eventually". Hopefully that was the right answer!