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a different perspective on human capital

The New Age of Interview Questions


We all know the standard job interview questions and the best way to answer them. “Tell me about yourself, why did you leave your last job, what are you looking to do next…” We’ve heard them all before. However, some companies are thinking outside of the box and challenging candidates right from the beginning. An interview shouldn’t just be a formality – instead, it should allow hiring managers to assess skills and personality, instead of just being blinded by the candidate’s singular abilities.

Top companies such as Google, Goldman Sachs, Boston Consulting Group and more are asking incredibly unique interview questions that candidates haven’t experienced before. This allows them to learn more about how the candidate thinks, and who they are as a person, instead of just what is on their resume. Here is a list of some of the toughest and most unique questions we’ve come across. How to answer them is up to you!

  • Boston Consulting Group: “Explain to me what happened in this country during the last 10 years.”
  • Google: “How many basketballs can you fit into this room?”
  • New York Life: “Why do you think only a small percentage of the population makes over $150K?”
  • Volkswagen: “What would you do if you inherited a pizzeria from your uncle?”
  • Acosta Leadership Development Program: “Just entertain me for five minutes; I’m not going to talk.”
  • Trader Joes: “What do you think of garden gnomes?”
  • Pinkberry: “Room, desk and car – which do you clean first?”
  • Argus Information Services: “How many traffic lights in Manhattan?”

Here are some other unique interview questions we have used in our own interview process  at Treehouse Partners to learn more about a candidate:

  • What do you read on a regular basis?
  • What was the last movie you saw?
  • How do you like to be told you’re doing a good job?
  • Which superhero would you be, and why?

Weigh in! What is the hardest interview question you’ve been asked?