Have you ever paused in an interview after being asked a strange question that felt awkward or out of place? You’ve got company. A teacher recently took to Reddit asking, “What was the weirdest interview question you had for a teaching job?” Here are the top-voted responses.
1. Dying Student
One teacher confessed, “What would you do if a student died the week before finals week? It was an odd random question and challenging to answer as I had just had a student die a couple of weeks before. My second student died that year.
My response to the question was just this awkward response that started with, “Well, I had a student take their own life two weeks ago, so let me start with what I did for that. I don’t know what they wanted out of the question. I didn’t get that job either.”
2. Potato Teaching
Another volunteered, “If you walked into the classroom and there was only a potato, what would you do to teach?” Several teachers were confused. One confessed, “I thought they meant you had to teach the potato instead of children.” Another added, “Ohhhhhhh!!!!!! How do you teach the children using only a potato as a tool or example?”
3. Extra Hours
“How many hours I’d be willing to work,” shared one. “I thought it was a weird way of seeing if I’d be willing to work insane hours. I answered that family was important to me. I’d be willing to stay after school some days for a task, but I wanted a healthy work-life balance. So I didn’t get the job.
4. Toilet Training
“How do toilets work?’ I think they wanted to see how confidently I could explain something I didn’t know anything about,” one volunteered. Another suggested, “How stupid.
The honest answer to being asked about something you don’t know anything about is to admit as much and then either make an educated guess or suggest phrasing for looking it up or for somebody else to ask.”
5. Too Much Empathy
“Maybe it’s not that weird compared to other ones here, but when I was interviewing for my first teaching job, I was asked: Do you think you can have too much empathy? It’s always stuck with me because I found it a strange question,” admitted another.
6. Crayon Color
One educator stated, “I had an interviewer ask me if I was a crayon, what color would I be and why? It was the first question that entirely threw my entire interview off. I stalled and said now, that is the first time I have heard that question.”
7. Drinking Limits
Someone volunteered, “So we like to go out drinking sometimes. What’s your limit?” While many agreed it sounded like a fun workplace, another admitted they were sober and didn’t find it appropriate. Finally, one semi-jokingly replied, “Common interview question in Wisconsin.”
8. Fruit Type
An educator shared, “If you were a piece of fruit, what type of fruit would you be? I said, ‘I’m a kiwi because, at first look, you may think I’m rough and fuzzy on the outside (I had a beard at the time), but if you look deeper, you will discover I’m more colorful and sweet than you expected.”
Other teachers responded, “Avocado when I’m bad. I’m worthless. When I’m good, I’m GREAT.” “Coconut because I’m not from around here, and if you knock me down, I could kill you.” And, “I’d be a mango! Sweet but thick-skinned. Also, not from around here.”
9. Compose a Song
“The interviewers asked their first question with complete seriousness and sincerity: Please grab a random item out of this bag. Then, please compose a short song on the spot about the item.
Please also try to connect your song to your content area or teaching in general. If you find a song too challenging, you may also write a poem to share.’ Context: I was interviewing for a middle school ELA position at a charter school. I immediately stood up and said, ‘Nope, this is not the school for me,’ and walked out mid-interview. The guy was completely stunned as I left.”
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10. Tree Parts
One teacher replied, “If you were part of a tree, what part of the tree would you be?” My face is expressive, and I wasn’t offered that job.” Finally, one joked, “What a perfect setup! What part of a tree would you be? Leaves.”
We hope you enjoyed these strange interview questions shared by the teachers of Reddit. This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Wealthy Nickel.