Silly Job Interview Questions Managers Ask

Business Merger: You Didn't Hear?

Quick, who invented the cotton gin? Yep, Eli Whitney. You got it.

Why do we all know that?! I know we learned it in school, but there’s tons of stuff I learned in school that I don’t remember anymore. For whatever reason, Eli Whitney sticks.

Some of the things I look for as topics for my cartoons are those similarly odd little bits of knowledge we all share. I don’t remember how exactly I was reminded of the 24-hour life span of the mayfly, but it hit me as one of those cotton-gin-like nuggets.

So I played with lots of ways of condensing an average life into 24 hours until this job interview popped into my head. Now that I look at it, I probably should’ve made it an hour or two, but it still works.

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Mark Anderson, professional cartoonist

About the Author: Mark Anderson’s cartoons appear in publications including The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Anderson is the creator of the popular cartoon website,, where he licenses his cartoons for presentations, newsletters and other projects. He blogs at Andertoons cartoon blog.


Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

9 Reactions
  1. Mark, these guys are crazy looking and I love the concept, very sharp, it’s hilarious!

  2. You are such a creative thinker! I like their suit jackets have enough sleeves for all of their little arms. Cute!

  3. I remember when I was head of HR. The questions where you asked someone where they’d see themselves in a few years were not too bad.

    However, some HR people advocated turning job interviews into these complex, long and drawn out experiences. Sheer agony!

  4. Mark, this is good stuff! Personally, I never found this particular question during an interview very effective. It’s so easy to embellish it and envision yourself as a pilot, a doctor, a lawyer, a priest . . . take your pick. Because even an honest answer always comes of sounding a little generic.

    The question kinda sets you up to “dream a little dream” 🙂

    Excellent take on it. The mayfly should’ve answered, “I see my heart racing and myself really overworked and overwhelmed. Not enough time in a day.”

  5. Thanks for the history lesson! Have a nice weekend! I will have another cup of tea in ten minutes…

  6. this is great! and unfortunately this is real!!! once I was asked how I drink my coffee and why???!!! and then the woman (cause she was a woman) told me that my coffee represents my state of mind and that I should put more sugar…this was nice, but scary! 🙂

    PS: great site you have!!! nice work!

  7. This is too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  8. Nothing to worry or get nervous, just be confident and never tell any lie.. answer what you know.. are the first principles while attending an Interview. I had lot of experience in this area, so collected a big list of interview questions and answers sites (more than 220 sites) on wide variety of areas. This doesn’t cover just interview questions but also has information related to how to dress, how and what to ask the person who is interviewing you like if it is HR, you might want to know about the work environment, about the overtime rules, about the holiday structure, any medical benefits, insurance coverages etc.,. Thought it will be useful to all, so sharing them at the below link — might be of some help to you… today and even in future..