You’ve heard of employers asking unconventional questions in the interview, but are they actually important? What will you learn if you ask candidates what type of animal they would be or what they would bring on a desert island?
Although wacky interview questions can seem absurd, they can help you get to know candidates better during the hiring process. Here are a few unique interview questions to ask and what they can reveal about candidates:
1. What is your go-to karaoke song?
Music is a big part of both our agency and our agency culture. This question not only gives us a sense of the candidate’s personality and life outside of work, but also shows us if candidates are willing to have fun while being put under pressure, which means they’re more likely to fit in with our existing team.
Shannon Engel, General Manager, Phear Creative
2. If you were a Microsoft Office program, which one would you be?
This oddball interview question provides the candidate with the opportunity to demonstrate quick thinking, creativity, poise, out of the box thinking, and even humor.
David S. Patterson, President, The Kineta Group, Inc.
3. Do you like puzzles? What kind?
The answer I’m looking for is multiple puzzles. The more complicated the better. Physical puzzles are the best. Jigsaw puzzles tell me a candidate is lazy.
We use a component content management system which requires a lot of consideration for how to handle different types of content and working together. I have found the better they like complicated puzzles, the more likely they are to persevere working with our content. A preference for physical puzzles seems to attract a higher energy person.
Peggy Sanchez, Senior Technical Publications Manager, Cray Inc.
4. Why Should I NOT Hire you?
This question is important from the standpoint of self-awareness. Most everyone knows how to answer Why should hire you, but when the question is turned on its head, it can be misconstrued for the ‘what is your biggest weakness’ question, that begs your weakness to be presented as a strength. Alternatively, this question is more about revealing goals and motivations.
If a candidate tries to manipulate the question, it just might be they are looking for a paycheck. The key to answering this question is to use the word if, not because. For example, you should not hire me if, you feel that another candidate shows more dedication to the position, more alignment with your values and goals, and more willingness to do whatever it takes.
Michele Jennae, Executive Career Coach and Owner, Perpetual Career Institute
5. When I speak to your last boss, what is he or she going to say about you?
Since people are trying to cover themselves for anything that boss might say, it’s amazing the things they’ll reveal. They’ll very often tell you things that last boss would never have brought up, even if the last boss would be allowed to deal with a reference which often they aren’t.
Barry Maher, Speaker, Author, Consultant, Barrymaher.com
What odd question do you always ask in the interview? Let us know in the comments below!