There’s no question that job interviews can be nerve-wracking for both the hiring manager and the job candidate. One way to make the process less stressful is to ask funny interview questions.
Believe it or not, funny interview questions can actually be a great way to see how well a candidate handles the unexpected! Plus you discover whether or not they have a good sense of humor.
This article will discuss:
- types of funny interview questions
- reasons for asking these questions
- tips for asking unusual interview questions
- examples of funny interview questions
We’ll also explain how to use these questions effectively during your next interview!
What is a Funny Interview Question?
A funny interview question asks something fun and unexpected, with multiple right answers and few (if any) wrong answers. Funny interview questions can include:
- personality questions (What’s your go-to ice cream order?)
- self-assessments (What ice cream flavor best describes you?)
- brainteasers (How many pints of ice cream do Americans eat in a year?)
- situational questions (How would you plan an office ice cream party?)
In general, funny interview questions allow you to assess a candidate’s creativity, problem-thinking skills, and other soft skills.
You are not limited to asking candidates about ice cream! Here are more examples of funny interview questions, organized by category.
Examples of Personality Questions
These creative questions reveal more about a candidate’s interests and personality.
- What’s the last book you read?
- What’s the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
- Why did the chicken cross the road?
- What’s your favorite joke?
- Pepsi or Coke?
Examples of Self-Assessments
These fun questions ask a candidate for self-reflection. Their answers can reveal their work style and their career interests.
- If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
- What’s your superpower?
- What fictional character are you most like?
- If you could have a song play whenever you entered a room, what would it be and why?
- If you could have any job in the world other than this one, what would it be and why?
Examples of Brainteasers
These challenging questions aren’t about finding the right answer, but learning how a candidate works through the problem.
- How many house painters does it take to paint a house?
- What’s the color of money?
- How many flowers does an average bee pollinate in one day?
- Why are manhole covers round?
- How many light bulbs can you screw in in one minute?
Examples of Situational Questions
These unusual questions allow a candidate to demonstrate their accumulated knowledge and wisdom.
- If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and only had time to answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
- How would you explain this job to a 5-year-old?
- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your teenage self?
- How would you sell hot chocolate in Florida?
- If you were our CEO, what’s the first thing you would do?
Why You Should Ask Unexpected Interview Questions
There are multiple reasons why you should ask funny interview questions. First of all, funny interview questions can be a great way to determine how well someone will fit in with your company culture. However, beyond assessing for culture fit, you can also learn a lot about how a candidate handles an unexpected question.
Some other reasons to ask offbeat interview questions include:
- Relieve some of the stress caused by the interview process
- Assess a candidate’s critical thinking skills
- Find out if a candidate has a good sense of humor
- Build rapport with the candidate
- Assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills
- Discover how well a candidate handles pressure
- Gauge a candidate’s reactions to unexpected situations
When used correctly, funny interview questions can be a valuable tool in your interviewing arsenal. Just be sure to use them deliberately. You’re not trying to trick or embarrass a candidate.
And remember, if you’re ever not sure whether or not a question is appropriate, it’s probably best to avoid it.
How to Ask Funny Interview Questions
All interview questions need to have a purpose, including funny ones. Before you liven up your strategic interview questions, be sure you know:
- which funny interview question to ask
- when to ask it
- why you’re asking it
- what kind of response you’re hoping to hear
Not all funny interview questions are appropriate for all companies or all roles. Be deliberate with how you ask unexpected questions.
How to Put a Candidate at Ease
Good job candidates prepare extensively before an interview, but they can’t anticipate every possible question. Funny interview questions can surprise them. While you want to assess a candidate’s ability to handle the unexpected, you also want to set them up for success. Here are some ways to help them:
- At the very beginning of the interview, inform the candidate that you plan on asking a few funny questions.
- When you ask the unusual question, briefly explain why you’re asking it.
- Give candidates the option of not answering offbeat questions.
- Offer to share your own answer to any funny interview question you ask.
You do not have to implement all of these ideas. You can do any of these proactively, before asking any questions, or you can elaborate if a candidate seems stuck on a question. Do whatever works best with your overall interview strategy. What’s most important is that you offer the same lifelines to all job candidates so they all have the same chance to succeed.
When to Ask Humorous Interview Questions
The ideal time to ask a funny interview question is near the beginning, after a few icebreaker or softball questions. At this point, the candidate has started to relax, and a funny question can help put them more at ease.
Another great time to ask silly questions is during a difficult or awkward moment during the discussion. This can help lighten the mood and diffuse any tension that may have arisen while also assessing the candidate’s creative problem-solving skills.
However, don’t use funny questions as a way to avoid asking difficult questions. You want the job candidate to feel comfortable and relaxed, but you still need to assess them for the role.
How to Assess a Candidate’s Response
If you decide to ask funny interview questions, be prepared for some funny responses! Remember, one of the benefits of asking funny interview questions is to learn how well a candidate handles unexpected situations. Candidates will often react differently when they’re asked something funny as opposed to something serious.
When asking funny interview questions, be on the lookout for a candidate who:
- reacts quickly
- shows a good sense of humor
- gives a thoughtful reply
These are all good signs. You don’t want a candidate who takes themselves too seriously!
Also, if a candidate freezes, even after you throwing them a lifeline, that’s a sign they struggle to handle pressure or unexpected situations.
However, if the candidate seems uncomfortable or offended, the problem might be your question. Reassess your question for appropriateness. Apologize to the candidate if necessary. That said, if you properly prepare funny interview questions in advance, then you shouldn’t have this issue.
Tips for Asking Unusual Interview Questions
Here are some additional tips to help you ask unusual interview questions:
- Be genuine in your delivery. Don’t try to force the funny if it’s not there.
- Make sure the question is appropriate for the job and company culture.
- Keep it clean! Avoid anything that could be considered offensive or inappropriate.
- Be prepared with a follow-up question in case the funny doesn’t land.
When used correctly, humorous interview questions can be a great way to lighten the mood and to build rapport with the candidate.
Potential Risks of Funny Interview Questions
While creative interview questions can be a great way to assess certain qualities in a candidate, they should be used sparingly. There are a few potential risks associated with asking funny interview questions.
For example, if you ask too many humorous interview questions, you may come across as unprofessional or even offensive.
Additionally, if you don’t choose your questions strategically, you may end up wasting your time and not learning anything valuable about the candidate.
However, you can avoid these pitfalls by following the advice listed earlier. All interview questions need to have a purpose!
Remember: the entire interview process should be deliberate, including the questions you ask. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not funny interview questions are right for your company.
Asking funny interview questions can be a great way to get to know a candidate. A single question can uncover their culture fit, their problem-solving skills, and more.
By following these tips, you can strategically add funny interview questions to the hiring process.
If you need help filling open positions, check out the Insight Global hiring page, and we’ll instantly connect you with top talent!