Blog

22 February 2017
The top 20 toughest job interview questions revealed by Glassdoor

The new year has brought about many new job applications. People are looking to further their career or get out of their existing work rut they find themselves in. As the number of people job hopping increases, this has brought about a new wave of ‘tough’ interview questions to determine the brave from the weak. Sourcing top talent is on the top of everyone’s agenda causing HR managers and interviewers to come up with some ‘inventive’ questions to help figure out the candidate.

Glassdoor’s recent research into tough interview questions revealed that difficult job interviews are statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction in the six countries they looked at (US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany and France); a job interview that is 10% more difficult is linked to a subsequent rise of 2.6% in employee satisfaction.

David Whitby, UK Country Manager at Glassdoor explained, “We’ve scoured hundreds of thousands of interviews questions faced by job candidates to find the toughest questions which would make anyone squirm. Preparing for an interview thoroughly means being ready for anything, even a curveball question not directly related to the job. Remember, it’s not necessarily about getting the right answer, more how you cope under pressure.”

If you have an interview looming, then it may be worth coming up with some answers to the following questions:

  1. “What on your CV is the closest thing to a lie?” – Marketing and communications employee, The Phoenix Partnership
  2. “What am I thinking right now?” – Regional Director, TES Global
  3. “How would your enemy describe you?” – Advertising sales graduate scheme, Condé Nast
  4. “If you had a friend who was great for a job and an identical person who was just as good, but your friend earned you £2,000 less, who would you give the job to?” – Associate Recruitment Consultant, Hays
  5. “What’s the most selfish thing you’ve ever done?” – Graduate Consultant, PageGroup
  6. “You are stranded on the moon with a group of other astronauts and you need to travel 200 miles back to base, here is a list of 15 items salvaged from the wreckage of the spacecraft you were travelling in. List them in order of importance.” – Sales employee, Turnstone Sales
  7. “If your best friend was here what advice would he give you?” – CCP, American Express
  8. “Describe your biggest weakness. Then describe another.” – Forward Deployed Software Engineer, Palantir Technologies
  9. “How do you cope with repetition?” – Product Specialist, Tesla Motors
  10. “How would you describe cloud computing to a seven-year-old?” – Graduate scheme, Microsoft
  11. “There are three people, each with different salaries, and they want to find the average of them without telling any of the other two their salary. How do they do it?” – Technical Delivery Graduate, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
  12. “Who is your hero, and why?” – Product quality employee, GE
  13. “What’s your biggest regret managing people so far?” – Area Director, Regus
  14. “What would you ask the CEO if you met him one day?” – Performance Analyst, British Airways
  15. “You have 50 red and 50 blue objects.  Split these however you like between two containers to give the minimum/maximum probability of drawing one of the colours” – Operations Analyst, Clearwater Analytics
  16. “What does social justice mean to you?” – Content Marketing Manager, ThoughtWorks
  17. “What is your coping mechanism when you have a bad day?” – Consultant, Switch Consulting
  18. “Are you a nice guy?” – Product Manager, Badoo
  19. “Provide an estimate for the number of goals in the premier league.” – Management Accountant, VAX
  20. “Tell me about your childhood.” – Learning and Development employee, Next

 

Candidate Hints & Tips