Benefits of asking funny interview questions
Asking funny and silly interview questions alongside more serious questions can reveal different attributes of a candidate. Unconventional interview questions allow you to see how candidates respond to unexpected situations, showcasing their creativity and flexibility.
If you have a more casual and laid back workplace culture, funny interview questions can allow candidates to display their personality, letting you see if they will make a great addition to your team. When done right, funny interview questions can also help calm a candidate’s nerves and help them relax, similar to ice breakers.
How to ask funny interview questions
Use funny interview questions to break the ice and help an employee relax at the beginning of an interview, or ask them at the end as a way to end the conversation on a positive note. However, consider using funny interview questions sparingly (i.e., one to three per interview) to leave enough time for behavioral and situational questions.
Avoid asking funny interview questions for the sole purpose of throwing a candidate off or tricking them. A candidate’s interview experience can positively or negatively impact your reputation and brand image. According to an Indeed survey, 49% of job seekers would tell their personal network (e.g., friends, family, colleagues) if they had a negative interview experience. A further 23% would post a negative review on a job site like Glassdoor or Indeed Company Pages.*
That’s why it’s important to ask questions that assess the suitability of a job applicant for the role, rather than random interview questions that candidates may think are irrelevant or designed to trick them. Always relate a funny interview question to a candidate’s past work experience or ability to do the job they’re interviewing for. Additionally, identify what skills, qualifications and experience you’re looking for with each question in advance, ask each candidate the same set of questions and create a rubric to score each candidate’s answers. This helps keep interviews as consistent and objective as possible.
Finally, ask candidates to use the STAR method to answer each question, making sure they describe a Situation, Task, Action and Result.
26 fun interview questions to ask
There’s no one right answer to a fun interview question, especially since they’re usually based on each individual’s personality, skills characteristics. Funny interview questions can target different skills and aspects of a candidate’s personality. Here are some playful interview questions you can use to help candidates open up during an interview.
Self-assessment interview questions allow candidates to give a brief description of their own personality using a metaphor or hypothetical situation. Consider only asking questions that are related to work experience or a person’s ability to do the job. For example, questions like “What Disney character are you most like?” or “Who would play you in a movie about your life?” can bias the hiring manager if they don’t like that particular character or actor, or can exclude people who aren’t familiar with certain pop culture references.
These self-assessment questions give people an opportunity to be creative, show their perception of themselves and demonstrate their problem-solving process:
- If you could turn into an animal, what would it be? How do the characteristics of this animal relate to this job?
- What superpower would you choose for yourself? Give me an example of how it would apply in this job.
- If you wrote a book about your career so far, what would you title it? Why?
- What advice would you give to yourself at age 15?
- If you were an ice cream flavor, what would you be?
- If you weren’t in this line of work, what career would you want to pursue?
- If you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
- What’s the very first job you had (that’s not on your resume) and what did you learn from the experience?
- How would you describe yourself in one word? Why?
Asking brain teasers lets you see how candidates process confusing or unconventional situations and adapt to problems as they occur. They allow prospective employees to explain their reasoning and display their problem-solving process through logical reasoning. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Instead, consider looking for predefined skills that you can score against a rubric, such as creativity or problem-solving. Consider brain teaser questions like these:
- How do you test a calculator?
- Tell me how you would sell hot cocoa in Florida
- How would you split three slices of cake among eight people?
- How many basketballs could fit in this room?
- How do you know if your refrigerator light bulb is working?
- What weighs more, all of the ants in the world combined or all of the humans combined?
- How would you explain the internet to a caveman?
- Why aren’t manhole covers square?
- How would you find a needle in a haystack?
- What is the fastest way out of this building?
- How would you use the items in this room to survive on a deserted island?
Behavioral and situational interview questions aren’t typically “funny” questions, but you can make them more fun by asking them in an out-of-the-box way. Questions about a candidate’s past behaviors at work and hypothetical situations can give you insight into how they approach different situations and what their priorities are. These types of questions can give you an idea of how the candidate would behave in your workplace:
- What’s been the biggest deal breaker in a job?
- How would you explain our product/service to a child? A martian?
- As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up??
- What’s the biggest 180 you’ve made at work? Have you gotten anyone to drastically change their position on something?
- If you got to work and had 10,000 unread emails, what would you do?
- What advice would you give to your former boss?
*Indeed survey, n=750