“What Zoo Animal Would You Be?” and Other Crazy Interview Questions

While you ponder whether you would be a zebra or a hippo, consider that these kinds of crazy interview questions are actually very common, both at large corporations and small startups.

Believe it or not, your interviewer is asking you these questions for a reason. Nontraditional interviews are intended to probe your ability to think on your feet, test your grace under pressure and expose your hidden personality traits.

Here are five types of non-traditional interview queries that may catch you off guard, as well as some extra insight into why anyone would ask a potential employee such goofy questions.

“What zoo animal would you be?” or “If you were a fruit, what fruit would you be?”

There’s really no wrong answer here as long as you are able to logically express yourself with sound reasoning to back it up. Consider this question a test of your ability to think fast in strange situations and maybe even lighten the room and create some laughs.

“How many slices of pizza would it take to wrap around the world twice?” or “How many snow shovels were sold in the US last year?”

Your interviewer isn’t looking for the correct answer. Instead, they are studying your thought process. Don’t freak out, there’s plenty room to be creative here. Ask follow up questions and use logic to show how you’d get to an solution. Display confidence under pressure and sound reasoning skills and you’ll ace this question regardless of the actual answer.

“What weighs more: 100 pounds of quarters, or 100 pounds of cotton balls?”

Hopefully you’ll realize they both weigh exactly 100 pounds, but in case you missed it, your interviewer was just testing your listening skills and attention to detail. It is very common to try and think ahead during an interview. Don’t fall into that trap. Listen to each question and don’t let your mouth get ahead of your brain.

“If there was a chimpanzee hanging from a chandelier, how would you get it down?”

This question assesses your ability to analyze a problem and identify one or more possible solutions. If the chosen method involves throwing something heavy at the animal, that says something about your negotiating skills. If you’d instead prefer to entice the chimp with a few ripe bananas, the interviewer will know you favor a less aggressive path.

“If you could be a comedian, who would you want to be and why?”

Workplace culture is critically important, especially at small startup companies. As a result, interviewers are often very concerned with making sure new hires will fit in with the rest of the team.  You can’t fake your personality or sense of humor, and even if you could you really shouldn’t. Just be honest and realize this question helps the interviewer coax out personality traits they won’t find on your resume.

Remember, no matter how strange the questions get, a job interview is your chance to express your personality, show why you are a good fit for the company and back up the skills on your resume.

We’d love to hear some of the most unique, out of the box or simply baffling interview questions you’ve encountered. Share them in the comment section below! Then, check out the JumpStart job board to find open positions at companies all across Northeast Ohio.