For most of us, the prospect of a job interview gives us equal anxiety as excitement. We spend weeks batting questions back and forth with friends and family, crafting our "my biggest weakness is that I'm so strong," responses and trying to predict by whatever method we can what might be asked of us.
How do we respond to crises? What could the company we're hoping to join do better? How do we feel about garden gnomes?
Wait . . . whaaa? That last question is no joke. In fact, it's one of the standard interview questions lobbed at prospective employees at Trader Joe's grocers.
It seems that no matter the industry, interviewers love to mix it up with some questions that defy any preparation. Some interviewers go broad: For example, in 2011 Ernst & Young asked prospective tax managers, "Does life fascinate you?"
Others get startlingly specific, like Google, who asked hopeful vendor relations managers, "How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday?"
Other favorites include “If Germans were the tallest people in the world, how would you prove it?” from Hewlett-Packard, “If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?” from Summit Racing Equipment, "Would Mahatma Gandhi have made a good software engineer?" asked at Deloitte and perhaps the most intimidating: "Just entertain me for five minutes. I'm not going to talk," from Acosta.
Tell us: What's the craziest thing you've ever been asked in a job interview?