“If you were a pizza deliveryman, in what ways would you benefit from having scissors?” – Apple interview question

Have you had these sorts of interview questions? What’s going on here? What are they REALLY asking? Read on for some insight on how to address these types of interview questions.

When interviewers ask questions like, “How many ping pong balls fit on a bus?” they want to know how you think. How you’ll react to curve ball questions that their biggest customer might ask. If you have a sense of humor. If you have good judgment.

If you are tossed a question like this in an interview, try to relax and roll with it. The interview team is trying to decide if they like you (how you think, how you relate) and if they want to work with you, so convey the answer as you would to a good friend, but with the judgment of someone currently in a job interview.

Glassdoor has some great suggestions from interviewees on how one might answer the scissors/pizza delivery interview question:

– Cut coupons off that are usually stuck to the box
– Self-defense
– It would keep me from running
– Shave between deliveries
– Use as a car window escape tool if I accidentally drive off a pier
– Pizza box origami
– Tie each half to bottom of shoes on icy day—skating deliveries
– Use crushed eyeliner and tip of scissors like a quill if someone doesn’t have a pen to sign the credit card slip
– Mirror: spruce up, see who’s behind you, replacement for rearview mirror, SOS signaling, calming angry birds
– Compass to draw perfect circles on city map to specify pizza delivery area

These guys have a different perspective:

– That is a trick question, because the real question is to see if you can separate pizza delivery from your need for or use of scissors. If you deliver pizzas and do arts and crafts during your time off. If you cannot disassociate pizza delivery from owning and using a pair of scissors, you are not going to produce any real answer.

– I think the correct answer would be in the same ways as a person who has any other job. The question didn’t ask for how you would benefit from scissors for your job.

Try to avoid the truly cheesy answers:

– I’d cut the delivery time in half
– I would cut the cake and eat it too

The main thing here is to take advantage of this opportunity to show your creative problem solving skills and resourcefulness while remaining calm and light-hearted. And consider answering the interview questions from the perspective of the position you’re applying for, what would a marketer, a developer, an accountant use scissors for?

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