Yahoo, LivingSocial, Airbnb Take Top Spots for Weird Interview Questions

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2014-01-17 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

If finding a new job is on your list of resolutions for the new year—and you're looking to get a leg up on the competition—it helps to be prepared for unusual and otherwise challenging interview questions. Jobs and career site Glassdoor announced its annual report of the Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions for 2014, and numerous tech interview questions, including those asked at Airbnb, LivingSocial and Yahoo, made the list this year. The bizarre questions that major tech corporations posed ranged from queries into what the interviewee would take with them on a desert island to how lucky potential employees think they are. While job candidates should expect to be thrown some curveballs, they should also be ready for common interview questions. For example, Glassdoor notes many candidates should prepare to respond to questions about their strengths and weaknesses, why they applied for the job and where they see themselves in five years. Take a look at the following list and if you're interviewing at one of these companies, be prepared for some potentially leftfield inquiries.

 
 
 
  • Yahoo, LivingSocial, Airbnb Take Top Spots for Weird Interview Questions

    by Nathan Eddy
    1 - Yahoo, LivingSocial, Airbnb Take Top Spots for Weird Interview Questions
  • Airbnb Wants You to Try (Explaining) Your Luck

    During an interview for a content management position, one potential employee was asked, "How lucky are you and why?" Fifty-two percent of the candidates interviewed found the process to be a positive experience, and 37 percent found it to be a negative one, according to Glassdoor.
    2 - Airbnb Wants You to Try (Explaining) Your Luck
  • LivingSocial Is Afraid of Cooties, Maybe

    A consumer advocate interviewee was asked, "Can you instruct someone how to make an origami 'cootie catcher' with just words?" A training and communications specialist interviewee was asked to tell the interviewer a joke, and a marketing consultant prospect was asked a more straightforward question: "We own a cupcake bakeshop that caters to tourists. Why would we use an application that focuses on a local audience?"
    3 - LivingSocial Is Afraid of Cooties, Maybe
  • Yahoo Searches for the Perfect Desert Island Question

    "If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?" is a question asked of a prospective search quality analyst. For software developers, the questions become more analytical, like this one: "What are all the possible ways to reach a floor in a building if you can only take 1, 2 or 5 steps at a time?"
    4 - Yahoo Searches for the Perfect Desert Island Question
  • Zappos Steps Up for a Parade Question

    An interviewer for the online site for shoes asked a customer loyalty team member this question: "If you could throw a parade of any caliber through the Zappos office, what type of parade would it be?" The folks at Zappos appear to have parties and parades on their minds; a project manager in Las Vegas was asked if he had to buy the CEO a shot, what kind of shot he would buy.
    5 - Zappos Steps Up for a Parade Question
  • Apple Wants to Ask You About Pizza and Scissors

    The company known for its stylish, easy-to-use computers seems to have a knack for leftfield questions. "If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?" was Glassdoor's entry for Apple. Sixty-one percent of Glassdoor reviews for Apple found the interview experience a positive one, with 24 percent feeling neutral about the experience and 14 percent describing it negatively.
    6 - Apple Wants to Ask You About Pizza and Scissors
  • Dell Wants to Know About Animals, Vehicles

    During an interview at Dell, a prospect applying for the position of account manager was asked, "Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?" Another potential account manager was asked, "If you were an animal on a merry-go-round, which one would you be and why?" And an applicant in Bangalore was asked to guess the average number of vehicles that pass in front of the Dell building during 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on a workday.
    7 - Dell Wants to Know About Animals, Vehicles
  • Xerox Has a Ball With the Interview Process

    Over the course of a client manager interview, one applicant was asked, "Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?" The easy answer would probably be, because it is covered in felt, and the technical reason would be better control in play, as the fuzz slows the ball down. Do we get the job?
    8 - Xerox Has a Ball With the Interview Process
  • Akamai Wants to Know Nuts and Bolts

    "How does the Internet work?" That one is apt to stump (or cause stammering among) a large group of our friends and colleagues. Sure, everyone knows how to use the Web, but could you succinctly put down how the whole thing actually fits together? Meanwhile, a major account executive candidate in San Mateo, Calif., was asked this: "How would you spend your time if you won the lottery and didn't have to work anymore?"
    9 - Akamai Wants to Know Nuts and Bolts
  • Applied Systems Makes Waves in the Interview

    Some questions seem random. A graphic design candidate at Applied Systems was asked this: "Have you ever been on a boat?" More commonly, software developers applying for jobs were asked to write a program to shuffle a deck of cards. Whether or not they would be shuffling them on a boat remains unknown.
    10 - Applied Systems Makes Waves in the Interview
  • SinglePlatform Wonders About Your Name in Lights

    "If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?" was asked of inside sales consultant applicant. The company's Glassdoor reviews had several other creative examples: "If you could have lunch with one person in history, who would it be and what is one question you would ask them?" and "If a bear and an alligator got in a fight, who would win and why?" But SinglePlatform's strategy might not be so much fun; 41 percent had a negative impression of the process.
    11 - SinglePlatform Wonders About Your Name in Lights
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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