Lighter side: Impossible interview questions

Oxford University has released some sample questions, to debunk the myth that they’re “unanswerable”. You be the judge.

Lighter side: Impossible interview questions
“Why do you think manhole covers are round?”
 
This, an actual interview question posed to a would-be Microsoft employee, is just one of myriad impossible job interview questions that are designed to inspire creative thinking – but which are generally more successful at inspiring fear in the hearts of job-seekers.
 
The only questions more perplexing, it seems, are the problems posed to prospective students at Oxford University.
 
The prestigious 928-year-old college has released a list of sample questions in an effort to debunk the myth that their questions are “unanswerable”.
 
After you’ve read some of the questions, you be the judge…
 
  • Why do many animals have stripes?
  • How do pirates divide their treasure?
  • Why might it be useful for an English student to read the Twilight series?
  • Imagine we had no records about the past at all, except everything to do with sport – how much of the past could we find out about?
  • What does it mean for someone to ‘take' another's car?
  • Should poetry be difficult to understand?
  • If you could invent a new musical instrument, what kind of sound would it make?
  • Would it matter if tigers became extinct?
  • Should interviews be used for selection?
 
What’s the most unusual or perplexing interview question you’ve ever asked, or been asked?

You might also like:

Lighter side: Don’t you know who I am?
Lighter side: Grocery chain’s internal memo goes viral 
Lighter side: Graduate channels David Brent 
 

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD New Zealand.

Recent articles & video

Is it impossible to overcome hiring bias?

Criminal activity outside of work: What HR needs to know

How to handle a toxic, yet talented, employee

Why do many senior managers distrust big data?

Most Read Articles

How to handle a toxic, yet talented, employee

Religion, rugby and contracts

Criminal activity outside of work: What HR needs to know