"What Was Your Best MacGyver Moment" And Other Top Oddball Interview Questions

Google and Microsoft are famous for asking brainteasers during employment interviews to see how candidates think on their feet. But they are not the only companies who ask oddball questions. Glassdoor, the anonymous employee review site, collects these questions from interviewees and just posted a list of the 25 oddest questions from last year.

Most of them tend to be math problems (“How many lightbulbs are in this building?”), but there are a few which are more creative and go deeper to reveal not only a candidate’s character, but the company’s character as well. When an interviewer for oil services behemoth Schlumberger asks an interviewee for his best MacGyver moment, he is projecting a sense of adventure onto the prospective job that is being applied for. The question almost says more about the prospective job than any answer says about the candidate: “We’re looking for a MacGyver. Are you a MacGyver?”

Here are a few of the standout questions from Glassdoor’s list and the companies which asked them:

  • What was your best McGuyver [sic] moment? —Schlumberger
  • How many tennis balls are in this room and why?  —Yahoo
  • How would you move Mount Fuji?  —Microsoft
  • What should it cost to rent Central Park for commercial purposes?  —Bain & Co.
  • If I put you in a sealed room with a phone that had no dial tone, how would you fix it?  —Apple
  • How would you sell me eggnog in Florida in the summer?  —Expedia