It's not uncommon for retailers to toss potential employees a curveball or two, and while they can be frustrating — does your inner breakfast cereal really say much about your sales skills? — Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job," tells Business Insider there's a reason employers turn to these "unconventional" inquiries, and it's not just to break the ice.
Those questions, she says, are a way for employers to access the "unfiltered you."
"Just how you interpret the random questions can say a lot more about you than any one traditional question," she explains. Hiring managers don't actually care if you're an elephant or a dik-dik, but they do care if you have key skills like empathy, sensitivity, warmth, and the ability to think on your feet.
Based on our survey of the Glassdoor archives, we collected some of the zaniest personality questions big retailers have asked their would-be sales associates:
"If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?" — Bed Bath & Beyond, sales associate candidate
“What was the nicest thing you've ever done for anyone?" — J. Crew, sales associate candidate
"If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?" — Uniqlo, sales associate candidate
"Pick two celebrities to be your parents." — Urban Outfitters, sales associate candidate
"What is the most embarrassing thing about yourself?" — Marshalls, assistant manager candidate
"If both a taxi and a limo were priced the exact same, which one would you choose?" — Best Buy, customer service representative candidate
"What did you have for breakfast?" — Banana Republic, sales associate candidate
“What would your last meal be if you had to choose?” — Whole Foods Market, bakery team member candidate
"What do you think of garden gnomes?" — Trader Joe's, team member candidate
“If you were a color, what color would you be?" — Old Navy, customer experience associate
"If you could be a makeup product, what would you be?" — Sephora, beauty product consultant candidate
“What would be your super power?” — Lululemon, educator candidate