The recruitment process of Thomas Edison, the man who invented the lightbulb, was as weird and wonderful as you might expect from a man who spent his life inventing.
Offering candidates who were interviewing for the role of Research Assistant, a bowl of soup, Edison watched whether they would add salt or pepper – Inc. reports.
If they did add salt or pepper, Edison would rule the candidate out from the job. Why? It is because Edison believed that the candidate had made an assumption about the taste of the soup and assumptions tend to stifle innovation.
Although Edison’s soup-centred applicant test might appear to be outlandish and strange, it’s not too dissimilar from many of the tests that many recruiters and hiring firms employ.
Some use the ‘receptionist test’ to evaluate a potential employees’ character. Some believe that if a candidate is impolite to the receptionist, they’re likely to carry this character trait into the job.
In fact, some pioneering recruiters are now using behavioural and character tests to gear further interviews towards a candidate’s character.
Chevrolet’s NASCAR team do this as well as something that Chad Knaus, the NASCAR team’s crew chief, uses which has been dubbed the ‘car test’.
Knaus explains that he walks candidates back to their car after the interview: “”I don’t care what kind of car they drive. Old, new, expensive, inexpensive… none of that matters at all. But I do care about whether they take care of their car. If food wrappers are lying on the seats… if the car isn’t clean and well maintained… I figure if you don’t take good care of your stuff, you aren’t going to take good care of ours.”
Alongside Knaus’ ‘car test’ and Edison’s ‘soup test’ there are other examples of strange recruitment processes – including some of the weirdest questions that candidates have been asked,
10 strange interview questions
- When a hot dog expands, in which direction does it split and why?
- How would you deal with an explosive being thrown through the window in the workplace?
- Are you able to deal with banter?
- How lucky are you and why?
- If you were a Disney character which would you be and why?
- If the bar was busy and a local came in from a farm, smelly from muck spreading with his pet goose on a lead, would you refuse to serve him?
- If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be and why?
- What would be your preferred shoe size?
- What would you serve for a breakfast for an African king?
- Would you be prepared to break the law?