Slice of Life: Quirky Questions

In an extra credit brainstorming effort, my colleague sent me a Fast Company article this morning titled “How to Answer a Quirky Question in a Job Interview.” Apparently, prominent companies like Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft ask curveball questions in interviews to determine how one will react under these types of circumstances: panic or poise?

  • If you have two eggs and you want to figure out what’s the highest floor from which you can drop the egg without breaking it, how would you do it?
  • How would you solve problems if you were on Mars? (my answer below)
  • Amazon is a peculiar company. What is peculiar about you?

While I myself have never been asked oddball questions in an interview, they are fun to think about. After attending a Restorative Practices training a couple of years ago, I started asking my classes Get to Know You questions that were sometimes pretty quirky. 

  • What flavor ice cream best describes you and why?
  • Who is your favorite villain? 
  • Would you rather catch every single green light while driving or never have to stand in line again?

With a simple Google search, my colleague also discovered questions like:

  • Which superpower would you choose?
  • If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
  • What would you title your autobiography?
  • You’ve been given one elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?

I’m often teased for asking a plethora of invasive questions, but I’m learning this curious part of my personality, when done strategically, is an excellent way for others to open up. Maybe I should start off with quirky questions first, though!

While I do love thinking about these questions, I’m personally terrible at answering in the moment. I drive people crazy with my questions to the question: Mars? What would I be doing on Mars? Would I be by myself or with a team? Would I have been trained to be on Mars or appeared magically? I guess this means I should be thankful I’ve never been asked one of these questions in an interview!

Students often have such incredible, hilarious reactions and responses to these questions. What’s the quirkiest question you’ve ever been asked??

I’m participating in Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life weekly challenge.

25 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Quirky Questions

  1. I love these questions so much. I use questions like these with my students as attendance questions. I was once asked in an interview, “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?” I don’t remember my answer. LOVE this slice!!

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    1. Yess! I’ve started using the questions when we start class off on Zoom. Wow, I am super interested to know what tree you picked at the time – I have no clue what I’d say! Hah!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, how awesome of a question is that! My best friend, a musical lover, would adore this question. I’m going to ask her soon 😉

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  2. This is a great Slice, and fun to ponder!

    The quirkiest question I’ve ever been asked while I was at work (as a tour guide) was this: “At what age does a deer become a moose?”

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  3. Gosh. I’m not sure I’ve ever been asked a quirky question in an interview! I’d be like, “Wait. What?” LOL! That might not end well. On the other hand, I was once advised to watch a few TED Talks before an interview, because you never know when a random tidbit might come in handy. “Funny you should mention that. I was just watching a TED Talk and I learned…” I don’t plan on interviewing in the near future, but I guess I better do some quirky GOOGLing. Thanks for the tip!

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    1. Ha! I’ve never been asked either; this was news to me! While I haven’t heard that advice about TED Talks, I do love them. I love when people reference TED Talks too, always sounds so sophisticated 🙂

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  4. I love these questions as well. I also attended a Restorative Practices “camp” I guess. It was so much fun. I got to connect and know a lot of students on such a different level. Like you I also overthink the questions and answer the question by asking many more questions but they are still fun. I’m definitely going to save these questions and keep them in my icebreaker folder.

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  5. Welcome to the SOLSC, Britt! So glad you’re joining our writing community.

    I asked my four-year-old son the elephant question. He kept trying to pawn it off on his sister. Eventually, he decided it would be a good idea to have an elephant around to “drive” him to the supermarket. Ha!

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    1. Hahah! I asked my grown husband the elephant question, and he also tried pawning it off! He finally settled on the same thing as your soon- “driving” to work. Haha

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely love this post, Britt! You’ve got me thinking about curve balls that I may have been asked during interviews.

    I suppose the most surprising thing that occurred for me during an interview was right out of college. I mentioned in my interview that I did storytelling. We finished the interview, and the two administrators walked out of the room. They returned about 15 seconds later, and one said, “You said that you did storytelling. Tell us a story.” So I did. It got me the job!

    My husband also got an oddball question once – a spin on the “what’s your biggest fault” question. The interviewer asked, “What would your wife say is your biggest flaw?” To which he held out his phone and responded, “We can call her, but I’m not sure how much time you have.” =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so impressed by the storytelling request – I’m also super intrigued to hear what story you told?!

      Your husband’s answer was PRICELESS – I sure hope he was offered that job! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the story I told may have been “Mean Willie” (like Wicked John and the Devil) or “The Elephant’s Child” (adapted from Rudyard Kipling. Those would have been the likely suspects!

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  7. Welcome to the Slice of Life community! What a great debut post! The questions make for some really great, fun writing – already I am answering in my head (example – favorite villain: Severus Snape, although he really turned out to be more of an antihero, so surely that is why…). I am trying to think of the quirkiest question I have ever been asked. Strangely elusive… may have to write on that when it resurfaces! Thanks for this energetic, delightful inspiration.

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    1. Yay, I’m glad to hear this may have led to some writing! 😉 ALSO, I can’t believe I didn’t think of Severus Snape myself!

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  8. Britt, Welcome to Slice of Life! This is surely an intriguing post! I really have to think about it. I know I’ve been asked some highly inappropriate things in past job interviews – one in Delaware in 1999 from a physician who asked me when I planned to have children?! I’ve always regretted not reporting her! Anyway, I think that the type of questions asked also reveals something about the person or organization asking them. If I had paid close attention to the number of questions asked at my last job interview, I probably would not have taken the job. Many questions had to deal with how I would cope with a difficult co-worker?! And, subsequently, I found my answers did not match up with reality. For there were not one but two difficult people in the group that I worked with and it ended up being easier to leave than change the ways of the leadership (although, I tried). So, while quirky – these questions, as well as the answers, can be informative. Obviously, it is probably why they are asked! Again, welcome to the group!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodness, what strange experiences you had with being questioned odd things. I honestly have no clue how I would respond.

      It’s true, questions can be incredibly informative. Thanks for stopping by!! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. What a great way to start slice of life writing, to introduce yourself and invite others to respond. No unexpected quirky question experience in my life. From your list the elephant question made my brain buzz. I might trade the elephant for a pet giraffe with whom I would drink tea and have conversations about books. Happy Writing!

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