Some UK candidates are questioning the interview process as they have been asked questions that have no relevance to the job like “have you ever seen an invisible man?” As well as being asked to do tasks that are just “downright weird” like clapping like a duck.
These strange interview questions and tasks were collated through a survey conducted by Adecco, a HR provider and temporary staffing firm.
Some of the most unusual questions that interviewees have been asked are:
- Can you sing the theme to Captain Pugwash?
- How many elephants can you fit in your car?
- How would you respond to a random person asking to lick your armpit?
- Who is more important – Father Christmas or the Tooth Fairy?
- How would you climb out of a giant bucket?
This comes at a time when just under half (48 per cent) of UK employees are open to finding a new career. The survey also found that some candidates ( 6 per cent) were asked unlawful or un-PC questions about their religion, sexual orientation and if they have plans to start a family.
Certain candidates were equally as lost when asked to perform tasks as they were when they were asked random questions with 8 per cent of interviewees being asked to perform in front of their potential bosses, despite the prospective job having no link to the arts.
As well as 5 per cent being asked to construct something like a bridge of straws, a house out of lollipop sticks, a racing car out of building blocks and a tower out of toilet rolls.
Odd tasks asked during an interview were:
- Act like a plug
- Copy the sound of a fax machine
- Lick your elbow
- Sit still for 30 minutes
- Write your name backward
These weird questions and tasks have led to some embarrassing blunders preformed by the interviewee. With some of the most embarrassing moments during an interview being:
- The chair I was sat on collapsed
- I called my interviewer Dad
- I got stuck in the loo
- I walked out of the door but it was actually a small cupboard
- I caught my trousers in the window chord
Shelley Preston, head of Adecco Retail, said:
The UK job market is really competitive and we’ve found that companies are forgoing the standard experience-related questions in favour of curve-ball, off-topic questions to catch interviewees off guard and test their mental reflexes.
Candidates are completely unable to prepare for such random enquiries, meaning they can often answer nervously and anxiously, leaving the job open for the more assertive to grab. Remember there’s no right or wrong answer to most of the strange queries – remain calm, confident and cool and be sure of your ability to do the job you’re interviewing for.
Adecco surveyed 2,000 working adults to find these results.
Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.