In today’s competitive job market, a typical job interview may not be what you expect. Many HR departments are changing up the cookie-cutter job interview to include curveball questions in an attempt to catch an interviewee off guard to gauge their true potential.

As you put on your best business suit to prepare for your next job interview, the real question is: Will you be ready for any question that comes your way?

Here are 5 off-the-wall questions that you may hear at an upcoming job interview:

  1. How many cows are in Canada? This was a random question asked at a Google interview for their local data quality evaluator position. If you don’t know the answer to this strange question, as most are unlikely to, honesty is the best policy.
  2. What would you prepare if I came to your house for dinner? This was asked to an interview candidate at Trader Joe’s in an attempt to measure their creativity. This type of broad question could invite the opportunity to describe your favorite meal step-by-step, reflecting the way that you would sell a product to a customer.
  3. Which state would you get rid of in the United States and why? This was a question asked in an interview for a research associate candidate position at Forrester Research. This is a tricky question since you could potentially offend an interviewer by nixing their home state. To best answer this question, diplomacy is key; you may prefer to “cheat” in your answer by combining two states into one, like North Dakota and South Dakota.
  4. Have you ever stolen a pen from work? This question was asked in an interview for the software architect position at Jiffy Software. This telling question could indicate your level of honesty, as well as your potential risk for in-office theft.
  5. How would you instruct someone else to cook an omelet? This question asked at a PETCO interview for the position of analyst provides the interview candidate with the opportunity to flex their authoritative muscle. Be ready to provide detailed, clear instructions step-by-step to show the interviewer your competence in project management and decision-making.

These odd job interview questions are only the tip of the iceberg in what you can expect in a modern interview setting. Many interviewers now include unconventional interview questions in the mix to keep a candidate on their toes and elicit a more honest response.

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