10 of the toughest job interview questions

From calorie and car counting gone mad to making us choose between our childhood heroes, these are some of the trickiest interview questions around.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 09 Dec 2015

If even the thought of a run-of-the-mill, ‘Why do you want to work here?’ job interview brings you out in cold sweat, you might want to look away now. Glassdoor has collated what it thinks are the 10 trickiest questions posted on its company and interview review site in the last year – and there’s some good ‘uns.

But before anyone gets too hyperbolic about these oh-so-unfair questions, it’s worth pointing out that in most cases there is no right answer – interviewers aren’t necessarily trying to trip you up (although there may be a few cruel ones out there who are). More likely, just like those dastardly Oxbridge professors, they just want to see how you think. Although if you’re a nervous interviewee that’s easier said than done…

1. Can you calculate how many tennis balls are used during the course of Wimbledon?

A lot.

Credit: Brussel and Sprout/Flickr

Company: Accenture
Role: Analyst
Location: London

2. Estimate the total number of cars in the UK.

Also a lot.

Credit: Ben Salter/Flickr

Company: Barclays Capital
Role: Trading analyst
Location: n/a

3. How many calories are in a grocery store?

Sigh. Can I just eat some chocolate already?

Credit: Rami/Flickr

Company: Google
Role: Product manager
Location: London

4. How would you sell a fridge to an Eskimo?

A sales classic. For a start, you might not want to call an Inuit an Eskimo…

Credit: Wili Hybrid/Flickr

Company: Harrods
Role: Temporary sales associate
Location: London

5. What would you take to a lonely island with you and why?

Do Brad Pitt and/or Beyonce count?

Credit: Ronald Saunders/Flickr

Company: Urban Outfitters

Role: Sales assistant

Location: London

6. Is Batman a superhero?

Well duh.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Company: AlphaSights
Role: Support engineer
Location: n/a

7. You have 17 red and 17 blue balls, and you remove 2 at a time. If the two are the same colour, add in one extra blue ball. If they are different colours, add in an extra red ball. What colour is the final ball removed?

I’m not even going to attempt this one.

Credit: Steve Snodgrass/Flickr

Company: Geonomics
Role: Software engineer
Location: n/a

8. What cartoon character would you be and why?

Disney? Pokemon? The Simpsons? It’s like making me choose between my children.

Credit: Disney

Company: Asda
Role: Administrative assistant
Location: Bristol

9. What is the wildest thing that you have done?

Wouldn’t necessarily recommend total honesty here.

Credit: Dominic Simpson

Company Metro Bank
Role: Teller
Location: London

10. What was your opinion of the film Blair Witch Project?

Terrifying. Next!

Credit: Gato-gato-gato/Flickr

Company: Jefferies & Company
Role: Data analyst
Location: London

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