What it takes to get an internship at Merrill Lynch?
As the job market gets increasingly saturated, and a huge number of talented individuals apply to the most coveted positions, recruiters have thought of several ways to assess their candidates’ values and personalities which are not reflected in their resumes. Brace yourself for these unusual, what-on-earth kind of interview questions that we have compiled from several different companies.
- “Sell me an invisible pen.” – Procter & Gamble
- “Estimate how many planes are there in the sky.” – Towers Watson
- “What did you play with as a child?” – Kiewit Corp.
- “What would you do if you were the one survivor in a plane crash?” – Airbnb
- “What did you have for breakfast?” – Banana Republic
- “Describe the colour yellow to somebody who’s blind.” – Spirit Airlines
- “Tell me about your life from kindergarten onwards.” – Merrill Lynch
- “What is your strategy in table tennis?” – Citi Group
- “If you could have lunch with anybody, living or deceased, who would it be?” – IMG
- “How do you rob a bank?” – Oliver Wyman
The best, or some might say the worst, part of this is, the fact that there are no right or wrong answers for the above questions.
There are, however, appropriate strategies for tackling them, and these are 3 commonly asked questions that recruiters ask based on their purpose and intent.
1. Questions that assess your creativity
“Sell me an invisible pen.” by Procter & Gamble are examples of questions that require you to stretch your creative limits.
2. Questions to test your ability to think on the spot
“How many planes are there in the sky?” by Towers Watson is a classic example of questions that assess your ability to think logically and on your feet.
3. Questions to assess your work ethics
When a recruiter asks you how you’d rob a bank, he or she is probably assessing your work ethics, i.e. the fact that you have ideas about how to rob a bank just like everyone else does, but you still wouldn’t.
So what do you do?
When facing these type of questions, take a deep breath and take your time to think about the questions before answering. More often than not, the recruiters are interested in your thought process and problem-solving skills than the final answer.
Finally, preparing yourself for the questions listed above does not guarantee a place in your dream company. Honing skills such as stress management, logical thinking and self-expression is much more essential in contributing to your success in job hunting and in everyday life.
References for interview questions: