Toughest interview questions for 2016 revealed

Preparing a candidate for a job interview is where the great recruiters are separated from the best.

This task is stymied when a recruiter has to prepare for questions that are so off the wall it is near-impossible to plan ahead for them.

Research released today by Glassdoor has revealed the toughest interview questions of the year, with ‘Which magic power would you like to have?’ coming out on top. This question was asked to by Topshop to potential sales assistants.  

Susan Underwood, Glassdoor’s Head of Global Recruiting and Talent Acquisition, said: “Job candidates at employers across all industries should be ready to answer any question, from the most basic to the most challenging.

“Employers are asking tough interview questions to test a job candidate’s critical thinking skills, see how they problem solve on the spot, and gauge how they approach difficult situations. Employers want to determine how different candidates respond to challenges, and those who respond well may have the edge when it comes to receiving a job offer.”

Previous research by Glassdoor has statistically linked hard job interviews to higher employee satisfaction.

Joe Wiggins, Glassdoor's Head of Communications - Europe, said: "Up to a point, tough interviews actually lead to more satisfied employees in the long run, although interviews shouldn't be so hard as to destroy someone's confidence. It's all about finding the right fit and for certain jobs and certain industries, there is a place for unusual, brain-teaser interview questions. Just make sure you know why you are asking them!"

The full list of question can be seen below.

1. “Which magic power would you like to have?” - Topshop Sales Assistant job candidate (Portsmouth, England).

2. “If you were a fruit, what kind would you be and why?” - Topdeck Travel Trip Leader job candidate (London, England).

3. “If you could have dinner with three actors that are no longer living, who would you pick?” - Blackberry Commercial Director job candidate (Berkshire, England).

4.“How many hours would it take to clean every single window in London?” - IBM IT Role job candidate (Portsmouth, England).

5.“How do you get an elephant in a fridge?” – Gemalto Software Engineer job candidate (London, England).

6. “If the time is quarter past 3, what is the angle measurement on the clock?” - Standard Bank Group Product Control Lead job candidate (London, England).

7. “If you had three minutes alone in a lift with the CEO, what would you say?” Network Rail Management Accountant job candidate (London, England).

8. "How many people born in 2013 were named Gary?” - BT Senior Proposition Manager job candidate (London, England).

9. “What will you be famous for?” - EY Director job candidate (London, England).

10. “How many nappies are purchased per year in the UK?” AVIVA Graduate Programme job candidate (London, England).

Comments (4)
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 1:37pm BST
Robin of Loxley
These questions usually come after more pertinent job related ones, and are designed to throw the candidate off guard and have to think on the spot, a lot of "normal" questions can be rehearsed to a degree
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Tue, 26 Apr 2016 11:38pm BST
An elephant in a fridge? Piece by piece :-)
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Thu, 21 Apr 2016 11:20am BST
Kathryn@ Amy Toncray
Seriously - some of these are decent but the others just read like an exercise in trying to show a position of power - how on earth does knowing what kind of fruit someone would be give you an idea of what type of person they are or how they would fit the role?
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Wed, 20 Apr 2016 8:34pm BST
Amy Toncray
I say...tough interview questions and dumb interview questions are two different things. Why not ask things that would involve critical thinking AND be pertinent to the position? I really don't care what kind of fruit you would be or your seemingly random knowledge of deceased actors, nor do I have any reason at all to need an elephant in a fridge.
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