Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Thursday, November 20, 2014
That is certainly an unorthodox interview question, and I would love to know what you said! How fascinating.
I’ve heard of recruiters and hiring managers using verbiage like this during interviews, but it isn’t something I’ve done, or something I’ve been asked to do in my own career. I know there are lists of such questions available online (Google this topic, if you’re curious), so the practice does exist in both large and small organizations nationwide.
Several well-known companies have actually been cited as using offbeat icebreakers, as well as “trick” questions, logic problems, puzzles, games, and even role-playing activities during the candidate screening process!
I agree with the other respondent who stated these sorts of interview questions are likely intended to push a candidate out of their comfort zone, by getting them to think on the spot and be imaginative under pressure. I suppose they may also be used to gauge a candidate’s reaction to an unusual request, and see how they handle unexpected stress.
But on the whole, I would guess this sort of experience in interviewing is still relatively rare, and many companies stick to tried and true behavior-based interview questions (BBIs).