HR & Management

Toughest interview questions
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The 20 toughest interview questions that won’t have candidates running out the door

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At the end of 2016, Glassdoor suggested finding a perfect job match meant putting candidates on the spot. Not only that, it found there was a direct link to some of the toughest interview questions and employee satisfaction – the harder the brain-teaser, the happier staff were in the long run.

This wasn’t just the case in the UK. Australia, France, Germany and Canada all saw similar results. However, make your recruitment queries too easy or too difficult, and employee satisfaction takes a nosedive. So how do you create questions that will incite the right amount of nerves without scaring prospects away?

It was a mission accepted by Glassdoor, which looked through information supplied by employees on its site to find the 20 toughest interview questions.

“We scoured the site to find the toughest interview questions which would make anyone squirm,” said David Whitby, UK country manager at Glassdoor. “But remember, it’s not necessarily about candidates getting the right answer, more how they cope under pressure. It also gives you a feel of their personality.”

If you’re curious to know, here are the toughest interview questions Glassdoor could find – that wouldn’t send anyone running for the hills.

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 grad 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 astronauts and you need to travel 200 miles back to base. Here is a list of 15 items salvaged from the wreckage of your spacecraft. List them in order of importance. – Sales employee, Turnstone Sales

7) If your best friend was here what advice would (s)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 the others 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

Image: Shutterstock

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