"How would you get an elephant in a fridge?": These are the 10 toughest questions asked at job interviews - including questions from Topshop, Network Rail and EY

 
Emma Haslett
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Step one: ask it politely to get off you (Source: Getty)

Job interviews are galling at the best of times - but imagine being asked how to squeeze an elephant into a fridge, or how many people named Gary were born in 2013.

That's what candidates at, respectively, Gemalto and BT were faced with, according to jobs marketplace Glassdoor, which has put together the 10 toughest interview questions of 2016. And they're not easy.

While BT wanted to know about births, Aviva was more concerned with what comes afterwards, asking candidates for its graduate programme how many nappies are purchased each year.

Meanwhile, potential Topshop sales assistants were asked which magic power they'd like to have, while candidates at Topdeck Travel were asked what kind of fruit they'd be.

The questions may seem frivolous, but Susan Underwood, head of global recruiting and talent acquisition at Glassdoor, said they have a serious purpose.

"Employers are asking tough interview questions to test a job candidate's critical thinking skills, see how they problem solve on the spot, and gauge how they approach difficult situations," she said.

"Employers want to determine how different candidates respond to challenges, and those who respond well may have the edge when it comes to receiving a job offer." In other words: start thinking about that elephant now...

Employer Question
1. Topshop Which magic power would you like to have?
2. Topdeck Travel If you were a fruit, what kind would you be and why?
3. Blackberry If you could have dinner with three actors that are no longer living, who would you pick?
4. IBM How many hours would it take to clean every single window in London?
5. Gemalto How do you get an elephant in a fridge?
6. Standard Bank Group If the time is quarter past three, what is the angle measurement on the clock?
7. Network Rail If you had three minutes alone in a lift with the chief executive, what would you say?
8. BT How many people born in 2013 were named Gary?
9. EY What will you be famous for?
10. Aviva How many nappies are purchased per year in the UK?

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