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The 25 Oddest Interview Questions of 2010

It's no secret that employers are very picky right now when it comes to new hires. They're putting applicants through multiple rounds of interviews to see how they stack up. They're asking applicants to pat their heads and rub their tummies while jumping up and down on one foot and describing their three best qualities. Well, maybe employers aren't going that far, but they sure are asking a lot of questions.

As any journalist will tell you, however, some questions are better than others. Asking great questions is an art form. A good question gets people thinking, while a bad one makes them question our abilities and we end up with something like this:

Even hiring managers can lob a few "do you remember when you were with the Beatles?" type of misses. Case in point: A new Glassdoor report that reveals the 25 oddest interview questions of 2010. Here are five of my favorite oddest questions employers asked:

"If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?" – Asked at Goldman Sachs, Analyst position

"Explain [to] me what has happened in this country during the last 10 years." – Asked at Boston Consulting, Consultant position

"Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are." – Asked at Capital One, Operations Analyst position

"How many traffic lights in Manhattan?" – Asked at Argus Information & Advisory Services, Analyst position

"Why do you think only a small percentage of the population makes over $150K?" – Asked at New York Life, Sales Agent position

Explain what's happened over the last ten years? Seriously? The question is a wee bit broad and could use some clarification. Plus, it would best be answered over a few beers because the '00s weren't all that great. By the way, how does Capital One define "weird"? Are we talking a scale of one to Beetlejuice weird, or some other scale? Should we include flashing four-way stops in our traffic light tally, or are we talking only timed street lights here? And where does the interviewer place the borders of Manhattan?

A poorly thought out question creates only more questions in the mind of the person being questioned. Still, I'd guess there are many jobless Americans with dwindling 401(k)s who wouldn't mind putting a Goldman Sachs analyst in a blender just to see what happens.


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