How would you answer these interview questions?

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I’ve hired a lot of people over the years. I always tried to go beyond the standard interview questions so I could gain some insight into the real person sitting across the desk from me.

But I didn’t have any “sure-fire” questions to get them to reveal themselves. I played it by ear.

Today, I think I would have a few additional questions ready to ask. This morning, I read a collection of unique interview questions and I was fascinated by them, for two reasons.

First, there’s no way a job candidate could prepare for questions like, “Here’s a roll of duct tape. What are ten things you can do with it?”, “Why is a manhole cover round?” or “How many cars are there in the US?”

Answers to questions like these will show how creative they are but also how they handle the pressure of trying not to sound like an idiot. Do they have fun with the question or do they fall apart? Are they willing to admit they don’t know or will they try to fake it? Will they respond to the question with a question (e.g., “Why do you ask?”)?

The second reason I was fascinated by these questions is they made me wonder how I would answer them. There were several questions I knew I’d bomb. What does this mean? What if I was interviewing myself for the job, would I be unqualified to work for me?! And is it fair for me to ask questions like these if I wouldn’t have good answers?

What say you? How would you answer these questions? And will you use any of them with the next job candidate you interview?

Okay, here are my ten ways you could use duct tape: (1) Get your client to keep quiet in court; (2) dip in sugar water to make an ant trap; (3) fix a book with a broken binding; (4) seal a perforated air hose; (5) tape index cards to the wall when you don’t have push pins; (6) keep statues from falling over on your desk; (7) emergency rain gear; (8) fake suicide bomber vest for Halloween (!!); (9) slap a “Kick Me” sign on your friend’s back; (10) emergency handcuffs.

Now I know I wouldn’t hire me. . .

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