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    • Unintentional
    • By Unintentional 26th Nov 10, 12:58 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 510 Thanks
    Unintentional
    • #2
    • 26th Nov 10, 12:58 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Nov 10, 12:58 PM
    The weirdest for me was he handed me a stapler and asked me to describe to him how it would benefit his life.

    It was a question that makes you have to be quick on your feet. But it made me chuckle.
    • Rainmaker_uk
    • By Rainmaker_uk 26th Nov 10, 1:01 PM
    • 514 Posts
    • 676 Thanks
    Rainmaker_uk
    • #3
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:01 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:01 PM
    Does not apply to me but here are a selection of Oxbridge interview questions:

    1. Can a thermostat think? (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
    2. Compare these bottles of Tesco and Timotei shampoo? (Law, Oxford)
    3. Could there still be a second-coming if mankind had disappeared from the planet? (Theology, Cambridge)
    4. Describe this saucer to me as if I wasn’t in the room (Economics, Cambridge)
    5. Describe your school from an anthropological perspective (Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge)
    6. Do you believe that statues can move, and how might this belief be justified? (French and Spanish, Oxford)
    7. Do you think the Bavarian peasants of 1848 had an ideology? (History, Cambridge)
    8. Does a snail have a consciousness? (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
    9. Here is a piece of bark, please talk about it. (Biological sciences, Oxford.)
    10. How do you organise a successful revolution? (History, Oxford)
    11. How many grains of sand are there in the world? (Physics, Oxford)
    12. How many monkeys would you use in an experiment? (Experimental Psychology, Oxford)
    13. How small can you make a computer? (Engineering, Cambridge)
    14. How would you market a rock band? (Economics and Management, Oxford)
    15. How would you measure the weight of your own head? (Medicine, Cambridge)
    16. How would you poison someone without the police finding out? (Medicine, Cambridge)
    17. If a wife had expressed distaste for it previously, would her husband’s habit of putting marmalade in his egg at breakfast be grounds for divorce? (Law, Cambridge)
    18. If I were a grapefruit, would I rather be seedless or non-seedless? (Medicine, Cambridge)
    19. If it could take a form, what shape would the novel “To the Lighthouse become? (English, Oxford)
    20. If my friend locks me in a room, and says I am free to come out whenever I like as long as I pay £5, is this a deprivation of liberty? (Law, Cambridge)
    21. If there was an omnipotent god would he be able to create a stone that he couldn’t lift? (Classics, Oxford)
    22. If you’re not in California, how do you know it exists? (PPE – Politics, Philosophy, and Economics, Oxford)
    23. Instead of politicians, why don’t we let the managers of IKEA run the country (SPS – Social and Political Sciences, Cambridge)
    24. Is ‘Taggart’ an accurate portrayal of Glasgow? (English, Oxford)
    25. Is it morally wrong to attempt to climb a mountain? (Theology, Oxford)
    26. Is the chair really there? (Philosophy, Cambridge
    27. Is the moon made of cheese? (Vet Sciences, Cambridge)
    28. Is Wittgenstein always right? (French and Philosophy, Oxford)
    29. Put a monetary value on this teapot. (Philosophy, politics and economics, Oxford.)
    30. Tell me about your life, from the beginning to what made you sit in that chair (Natural Sciences, Cambridge)
    31. What colour is that notice board? (Mathematics and Philosophy, Oxford)
    32. What effect on the whole of society does someone crashing into a lamppost have? (Law, Oxford)
    33. What happens if I drop an ant? (Physics, Oxford)
    34. What would happen if you drilled through the Earth all the way to the other side and then jumped into the hole? (Engineering, Cambridge)
    35. Why can’t you light a candle in a spaceship? (Physics, Oxford.)
    36. Why is it a disadvantage for humans to have two legs? (Medicine, Cambridge)
    37. Would I be justified in saying that only morons play sport? (Economics, Cambridge)
    38. Would Ovid’s chat-up line work? (Classics, Oxford)
    39. Would you rather be a novel or a poem? (English, Oxford)
    40. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Discuss. (Music, Oxford)
    • pimento
    • By pimento 26th Nov 10, 1:22 PM
    • 5,120 Posts
    • 6,649 Thanks
    pimento
    • #4
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:22 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:22 PM
    Fabulous questions! I'd like to see some of the answers given.
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
  • shikoku
    • #5
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:25 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:25 PM
    The worst interview technique is when they lean back in their chair and say 'tell me about yourself'

    Answer as far as I am concerned is 'well what would you like to know?'

    Lets face it we already know we have a tosspot for an interviewer when they do this.
    Last edited by shikoku; 26-11-2010 at 1:28 PM.
    ~*~ If you don't need it, it isn't a bargain ~*~
    • pimento
    • By pimento 26th Nov 10, 1:27 PM
    • 5,120 Posts
    • 6,649 Thanks
    pimento
    • #6
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:27 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:27 PM
    How would you measure the weight of your own head?

    Hm. I suppose you'd have to work out what percentage of your body's volume your head is, then weigh your whole body and take away the percentage of the whole weight that is your head.

    That, or take a large axe...
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • Hermia
    • By Hermia 26th Nov 10, 1:55 PM
    • 3,998 Posts
    • 10,374 Thanks
    Hermia
    • #7
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:55 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Nov 10, 1:55 PM
    My two worst questions were:

    1) What was the date of your last period?

    2) Are you an introvert or extrovert? A question that stumped me because I did study psychology and psychologists view people as having a mixture of these characteristics and some view these terms as unhelpful. Plus the job required skills/traits that would fall into both of these camps so I couldn't just give the answer I thought the job required. So, I started to explain why I felt I had both introvert and extrovert traits and the guy told me to just answer the b***** question. So, I politely tried to explain why I couldn't just give a one-word answer. He then got angry and from what he said it became obvious that he had no understanding of the question he asked. Not suprisingly I wasn't offered the job!
    Last edited by Hermia; 26-11-2010 at 2:11 PM.
    • dickydonkin
    • By dickydonkin 26th Nov 10, 2:08 PM
    • 2,820 Posts
    • 2,841 Thanks
    dickydonkin
    • #8
    • 26th Nov 10, 2:08 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Nov 10, 2:08 PM
    Recent interview questions;

    "What would you rather be - a dog or a cat - and why"?

    and

    "Tell me about yourself".

    And yes shikoku - I think you are right when you stated:

    Lets face it we already know we have a tosspot for an interviewer when they do this.
    Edit to add: Oh, how old are you? (yes really). Thankfully, this was one job I was pleased I did not get - a completely abrasive, arrogant bar steward. Being the wrong side of 50, I knew after that question I was wasting my time.

    1) What was the date of your last period?
    Unbelievable - now that question will take some beating!
    Last edited by dickydonkin; 26-11-2010 at 3:44 PM.
  • adg1
    • #9
    • 26th Nov 10, 2:55 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Nov 10, 2:55 PM
    Interviewer picking up his BIC biro and handing it to me:

    'Sell me this pen'

    Answers -

    It writes and means you can write things.

    It can also double as a straw were your to be stuck on a desert island and need to stick it in a coconut.

    A life-saving pen AND you can write a letter to get attention too.

    Might struggle for a stamp though.

    A-HA! You can stick you note in it, secure both ends with the nib and the cap and float it away. Like a small message in a bottle.

    What a pen.
    • snowqueen555
    • By snowqueen555 26th Nov 10, 3:18 PM
    • 685 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    snowqueen555
    I was once handed a jar of sauce or something and told to sell it. I had trouble tbh, its a jar of sauce, its not like, a cd player or something where I can wax lyrical about the features.

    Not weird, but it had me stumped but i rememebr talking abonut the ingreients and about lloyd grossman as he was on the label :s

    LOL funny when I think back, naybe it waqsn't the job for me
  • cmw1212
    My two worst questions were:

    1) What was the date of your last period?

    2) Are you an introvert or extrovert? A question that stumped me because I did study psychology and psychologists view people as having a mixture of these characteristics and some view these terms as unhelpful. Plus the job required skills/traits that would fall into both of these camps so I couldn't just give the answer I thought the job required. So, I started to explain why I felt I had both introvert and extrovert traits and the guy told me to just answer the b***** question. So, I politely tried to explain why I couldn't just give a one-word answer. He then got angry and from what he said it became obvious that he had no understanding of the question he asked. Not suprisingly I wasn't offered the job!
    Originally posted by Hermia
    Omg really?
    I can't recall any really bad questions but have had interviews where the interviewer seemed to be on the attack which isn't very nice especially if the attack is regarding your CV or experience.
    • dickydonkin
    • By dickydonkin 26th Nov 10, 3:42 PM
    • 2,820 Posts
    • 2,841 Thanks
    dickydonkin
    Omg really?
    I can't recall any really bad questions but have had interviews where the interviewer seemed to be on the attack which isn't very nice especially if the attack is regarding your CV or experience.
    Originally posted by cmw1212
    Absolutely - see my post above - I had the same experience in the interview I am refering to, but once I realised I was pi**ing into the wind, I gave as good as I got in a subtle way due to me knowing something that went wrong in this workplace - for which he was indirectly responsible.

    A horrible person.
    • Linda32
    • By Linda32 26th Nov 10, 3:58 PM
    • 4,033 Posts
    • 8,989 Thanks
    Linda32
    Interviewer picking up his BIC biro and handing it to me:

    'Sell me this pen'

    Answers -

    It writes and means you can write things.

    It can also double as a straw were your to be stuck on a desert island and need to stick it in a coconut.

    A life-saving pen AND you can write a letter to get attention too.

    Might struggle for a stamp though.

    A-HA! You can stick you note in it, secure both ends with the nib and the cap and float it away. Like a small message in a bottle.

    What a pen.
    Originally posted by adg1
    I've been asked that question as well, it was years ago for a position in an employment agency, I mean the person behind the desk not me going for an interview for one of their vacancies.

    It was something to do with being able to sell. I'd no idea what to say, needless to say, I've never had a sales position it was around the time that the tops started to have holes in them to prevent choking, I think I was meant to sell that bit.

    More recently, I'd already decided that I didn't want a particular job, the job itself sounded fine, but the environment awful. The interviewer said "well, I won't say I don't like you, but I'll let you know", I ran as quickly as my legs would carry me. Turned out that he'ed already been on the 'phone to the agency who sent me saying the job was mine I said, no thanks.
    • tedster123
    • By tedster123 26th Nov 10, 4:05 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    tedster123
    worst questions
    I hate - name some of your bad points and what would you bring to a desert Island - apparently whisky and women not an acceptable answer
    • Stew68
    • By Stew68 26th Nov 10, 4:34 PM
    • 768 Posts
    • 1,551 Thanks
    Stew68
    One that was asked of me that I wasn't prepared for was "Tell me the last time you were out of your comfort zone" I really had to think quickly for that one and waffled. I always try to have an answer that is something related to my work experience and how I turned it into a positive.

    I'm glad I wasn't asked some of those above though.
    If there is supposed to be a light at the end of this tunnel would somebody please switch it on.......
  • RedSoleShoes
    I was recently asked to do a ridiculous long multiplication of fractions while the interviewer watched over me. A bit weird when it was for an admin role.
  • shikoku
    The answer to the age question is this, say: 'I'm happy to tell you...' lean forward slightly 'is it important to you?'

    Implication : We both know you can't ask me this.
    Last edited by shikoku; 26-11-2010 at 4:52 PM.
    ~*~ If you don't need it, it isn't a bargain ~*~
    • scooo
    • By scooo 26th Nov 10, 5:27 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    scooo
    Interviewer picking up his BIC biro and handing it to me:

    'Sell me this pen'
    Originally posted by adg1
    Obviously this question travels well, I was subjected to the exact same question in Australia.

    My response .. "do you want to buy this pen?"
    Reply "No"
    My reply "fair enough, what are you doing in here then?" - after all, if you didn't want a pen, why are you in a pen shop????

    Never got the job and the interviewer was very offended. I was just bemused
  • katerinasol
    My two worst questions were:

    1) What was the date of your last period?
    Originally posted by Hermia
    What the hell, why would someone ask you that?!
    • pinkduvetdiva
    • By pinkduvetdiva 26th Nov 10, 5:47 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 498 Thanks
    pinkduvetdiva
    I had one interviewer ask me what my mum and brother did for a living! Even if I had been offered the job, I'm not sure I would have taken it.
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