Employees are turning to platforms like Google and movies like The Internship to prepare for job interviews, but employers are no longer interested in understanding your skills and experience. The classic ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’ is being replaced with ‘What is your favourite colour and why?’.
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After surveying job-seeking Aussies, online jobs platform OneShift revealed the 20 most bizarre questions Australian employers have asked:
20 most bizarre questions asked by Aussie employers
- Bring an item with you to the interview that best suits your personality.
- Imagine a pen that could do anything. How would you sell it to me?
- On a day to day basis, what number do you think of the most?
- If you could have a day on earth where you could do one thing as much as you wanted what would it be?
- If you started dating another employee, would you inform the manager about your relationship
- What would you expect to see written on your gravestone?
- Name the seven dwarves from Disney’s Snow White.
- How would you move three chairs from one end of the room to the other?
- Here’s a pen between us. How would you get the pen over to me?
- Would you wear a sombrero at the airport so company guests can identify you during pick-up?
- Are there wolves in Australia?
- If you could be a type of animal, what would you be? Why?
- You have several hundred kilos of cardboard boxes. With a group of ten people under your command, how would you delegate the tasks to move the boxes from point A To B which are 1Km apart?
- If you were a car, which one would you be?
- If you inherited an island:
What would you do with the island? Who would live with you on the island? What would be the top 3 rules of the island?
- What would you prefer to get out of working with people?
A friendship, A productive working relationship, A new partner
- What fruit best describes you?
- What ice-cream flavour would you be?
- What TV personality best describes you?
- What’s your favourite colour and why?
Most of these questions are a valid means of sussing out whether the candidate is quick on their feet, the kind of analytical skills they have, and how they respond to pressure, but the throw-you-for-a-loop tactic should have its limits.
Expert Advice: We asked Alexandra Tselios, expert business consultant and Publisher of The Big Smoke, about what kind of questions are off-limits and she said, “First of all, it is illegal to hire or fire based on race, sexual orientation and age and any other personal bias puts the employer in a very risky position.”
She continued that when pitching she has, “literally been asked, ‘but what happens when you get pregnant etc’. The connotation being, that running a start up, studying law, doing whatever I was doing was simply a way to bide my time until I had kids in which case I would obviously drop everything and leave investors in the lurch. It is an ignorant way of thinking, but it is also an unfortunate thought process – you are potentially missing out on some great people to work with due to old-school cliches.”
So what do we do? Alexandra says, ” I think just from a personal point of view, as irritating as it is, act with dignity and good humour. Often it could be a simple slip of the tongue or glib comment, but if you know your legal rights, your abilities and the potential impact you could have on this organisation, I wouldn’t let it rattle you. If anything, it is giving you an early glimpse into the methodology and ways of thinking that the person who is hiring you has! Do you want to be around that? And if so, can you change it?”