Interviews : Facing Off the Wall Questions

Ok! You have it all figured out. You aced the aptitude tests, you passed through the pre screening stages and you are finally seated in front of your future boss.

Your interview is going smoothly and you rapidly answer all the questions he/she asks you. You are just about starting to feel that the job is yours when BOOM! The interviewer asks you “If you were a brick in a wall, which brick would you be and why?”



What would you say? If you are a perfectly normal individual, your first reaction would be to blink at the interviewer. But the question is, would you be able to recover your stance quickly enough to give an answer to this off the wall interview question?

In most cases, the answer would be no. The reason is quite simple. Most if not all individuals spend hours preparing for written tests, rehearsing their answers and compiling speeches of how they will serve the company and why, to make note of one important part of the interview process, handling off the wall questions.

When facing one, they tend to freeze and go blank. In fact, the question mentioned above is a standard question asked during the final round of interviews at Microsoft.

Some of the other popular questions that are asked by firms around the world include “How would you move Mt. Fuji?” and “Who is your favorite comedian?” You would probably ask as to why these questions are asked in the first place.


Almost every company you apply to would want to know how you handle these kinds of situations. Most of the time, these questions are asked to ascertain your personality and the way you see things around you.

This gives you more scope to talk of your achievements. All you need to do is frame them around the question that was asked. Let’s say you are attending an interview and the interviewer asks you “Why is a man hole round?”

The interviewer would probably want to know about your thought processes. In these cases, it is recommended that you think out loud. This enables the interviewer to note how you work.

In par with the above question, you can simply state that round man holes are easier to remove and fit perfectly into the holes unlike square ones. You can also add that round man holes are stronger and provide more support to the underlying framework of the tunnel.

Another popular question goes like this. “What car would you want to be?” If you get such a question, you can tell a car that is fast and strong which would project you as having the same qualities.

Alternatively, if you get the brick question, you can opt to give an answer that would specify you as the foundational brick upon which the entire building rests on. This clever answer would project you as a strong individual, capable of handling pressures and willing to work for the company.

These kinds of questions are also called as case interview questions and there are several business schools that teach students how to handle them. You can also find plenty of books that contain off the wall interview questions asked by popular firms all over the world.

However, instead of memorizing all these questions and their answers prior to attending an interview, opt to be straightforward and try to give impromptu answers rather than made up ones.



fathima