Is a Jaffa Cake a cake or a Biscuit? And other bizarre interview questions........

How do you choose the questions you ask during an interview?

Perhaps you’re most interested in how a candidate took ownership of a project at their current job or how they have managed to turn around a weakness – or maybe you’d really like to know who would win in a fight – Superman or Batman?

That’s just one of the unusual questions that have appeared on a list of ‘bizarre’ interview questions that emerged in a survey by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

In what must surely be an attempt to test candidates’ ability to think on their feet, other questions included: Do you like to sing in the bath? Was the book Frankenstein really about state control? Please do an improvisation of a film (with potential co-worker).

At Park we support our candidates through the interview process investing time in preparing strong examples for competency based questions and according to Aimee Batemann of AAT you can not prepare enough she said: “The range of random and sometimes unbelievable questions or tasks candidates have been subjected to shows sometimes you just can't predict what will be thrown at you. However, the best way to maintain composure and reduce the chances of embarrassment is to try to prepare for every possibility and be prepared to think on your feet if need be.”

AAT found that 30% of respondents said they had given awkward or uncomfortable responses. Some admitted starting to cry or being caught out by a lie on their CV, while others even admitted they had forgotten what job they were applying for or simply dried up.

The top twenty strangest questions were:

  1. Would you rather know a lot about a little or a little about a lot?
  2. Who would you invite to a dinner party?
  3. Who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman?
  4. Who is your favorite Doctor Who?
  5. Which video game character would you like to be and why?
  6. Which three celebrities would you like to join for a night out?
  7. Would you post about work on Facebook?
  8. Do you prefer to be right, or be liked?
  9. Do you wear jeans outside of work?
  10. What would you do if the sun died out?
  11. Are you a Coronation Street or EastEnders fan?
  12. What would you do if you caught a member of staff kissing the boss?
  13. What dinosaur would you like to be?
  14. Was the book Frankenstein really about state control?
  15. Please do an improvisation of a film (with potential co-worker)
  16. Build a tower of paper cups in one minute that would not fall down when you put water in the top cup
  17. Tell me 20 unique selling points about this BIC pen
  18. Please bring a toy with you and explain how this reflects you as a person or a part of your personality
  19. Is a Jaffa cake a cake or biscuit?
  20. How do you feel about blood sports?

So when it comes to interviews, whilst you cant have an answer for everything that might be thrown at you - do be prepared to think on your feet!