The 25 Weirdest Interview Questions of 2010


By Kimberly Weisul – January 5, 2011

If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and trapped in a blender, how would you get out?

That might sound like a ridiculous question, but to a job candidate-at least one reportedly applying for a job at Goldman Sachs-it might actually be an important one.

Glassdoor, a job-posting and community site for job-seekers, has compiled a list of the oddest interview questions of 2010, and that zinger-reportedly from Goldman-wins the number one slot. "Interviews can be an extremely nerve wracking experience, and by shedding light on the process we hope to give job seekers a leg up in their next interview," says Robert Hohman, co-founder and CEO of Glassdoor.

Glassdoor combed through 80,000 interview questions shared by job candidates on its site to find the wackiest queries. Glassdoor is not able to independently verify that these questions were actually asked, or who asked them.

BNET contacted all of the companies who made top 25, and among those who responded, none were able to confirm the origin of the questions. But none of them denied that the questions had been used, either (though some said these questions were not part of a standard set used by all interviewers), and some even offered a possible explanation as to what kind of answer the interviewer was after.

Think you're prepared for your next interview? Well, if you can answer these, you probably are:

  1. If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?
  2. How many ridges are there around a quarter? (Reportedly from Deloitte)
  3. What is the philosophy of martial arts? (A spokesperson for Aflac, where this question was used, says she hopes the candidate quoted Kwai Chang Caine from the 1970s TV show Kung Fu: "I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions.")
  4. Explain to me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years (Reportedly from Boston Consulting)
  5. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are (Reportedly from Capital One)
  6. How many basketballs can you fit in this room? (Reportedly from Google)
  7. Out of 25 horses, pick the fastest 3 horses. In each race, only 5 horses can run at the same time. What is the minimum number of races required? (Reportedly from Bloomberg LP)
  8. If you c