Stupid Interview Questions and the Hilarious Responses

Maybe these things amuse me more than they do others because I happened to be born and raised in Silicon Valley, where strange interview questions are common, but Information Week has sixteen interview questions that are particularly stupid — so stupid that I would also be tempted to provide sarcastic answers that would bomb the interview. This might explain why I don’t have a real job. Numbers 2, 14, and 15 are particularly travel related:

(2) “How lucky are you and why?” — Airbnb, Content Manager interview.

Luckier than EJ, that woman in San Francisco who rented her apartment out through Airbnb and was subsequently robbed.

(14) “It’s Thursday; we’re staffing you on a telecommunications project in Calgary, Canada on Monday. Your flight and hotel are booked; your visa is ready. What are the top five things you do before you leave?” — ThoughtWorks, Junior Consultant interview.

Inquire why I have a visa, which is unnecessary for a US citizen visiting Canada, but not a work permit. Then identify the client, the project goals, whether a car will be required, and whether Internet access is available at the hotel and on-site.

(15) “Describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seatbelt.” — Active Network, Client Applications Specialist interview.

When the seat belt sign illuminates, you must fasten your seat belt. To do so, insert the metal tip into the buckle and adjust the strap so it’s low and tight across your lap. To release the belt, lift the top of the buckle. Remain seated, with the seat belt fastened, any time the seat belt sign is on.

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  • BradR

    They’re stupid questions, but they’ve got two purposes that make them useful stupid questions: the answers aren’t necessarily about the content but the process & form of response or the response and ability to handle a stupid question might be the whole purpose. In the first case, how you use a seatbelt shows how you approach a methodical process and how you’d communicate that to a client. In the second, If a client asks a stupid question, how are you going to respond and maintain a good relationship with the client.

    • Scottrick

      Oh, I agree, some questions are intentionally strange to explore the respondent’s personality and logic. But I picked out these three because I’m not so sure the answers are in line with the questioner’s expectations. The first backfires on the company, the second probably included “visa” in error, and the third was just funny.

  • Dan Miller

    My favorite interview question that I used to ask when interviewing IT consultants was “How many airplanes are in the air over the United States right now?”

    Again, as BradR says – it wasn’t so much about the actual answer, but to judge how they tackled a question that they probably didn’t know the answer to.

  • Darth Chocolate

    “How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the U.S. each year?” More than 1.

    “If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?” How do we know that this is not a movie about my life?

    “What is your least favorite thing about humanity?” Having to deal with other humans.

    “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?” Because it forgot to shave.

    In reality, the absolutely dumbest question I was asked in an interview was shortly after I received my PhD in Engineering and the HR twit asked me “What was you greatest accomplishment in High School?” Survival.

  • Brian C. Lee

    My favorite question that I frequently get asked is “What interested you in this position?” You’re hiring and I need a job, genius.

  • W Brian Duncan (aka IPBrian)

    Personally I liked your answer to 14. 😉

  • Namey Saket

    This is a hilarious review on one of ThoughtWorks’ interview. Funny but sad that interviews have stopped being about recruitment, it’s become more of an EGO battle:

    • Ramesh Krishna

      LOLLLLLLZZZZ , this is top funny post!

  • loganslogan