5 Unique Questions To Ask Candidates

Interview questions

By the time most hiring managers get into their role, they have likely already heard all the stock standard interview questions under the sun.

‘What is your biggest weakness?’, ‘Why should we hire you?’, ‘Describe yourself in three words’, or even ‘Sell us this pen’. These are all helpful and relevant questions, but are often those that the candidate is prepared for, and will often garner similar responses.

Try these five unique interview questions next time you sit down with a candidate, and see if your new angles on interviewing give you some new angles on answering.

1. Which role do you naturally fall into?

From childhood, humans will quickly display certain qualities that come about naturally when they are in a group.

Some will tend to lead, others will nurture, some will happily follow the leader, others will take on the role of note-keeper and so on.

Depending on the role you are looking to fill, and the potential for future advancement for that role, this question could help you imagine the candidate in the team environment.

2. Would you intern here for free for two weeks?

Some candidates would say no outright due to financial pressure, but if they really do seem interested, this can tell you a lot about how much they want the job.

Many candidates come into an interview room ready to argue about how perfect this opportunity is – but would they put their money where their mouth is at crunch time?

‘Yes’ answers may give you a better insight into who is interested in the role itself rather than the paycheck.

3. What is the hardest part of your current/previous job?

This question is a great way to find out what the candidate struggles with, and judge if this will be an issue in your workplace. Is it the workload, the office politics, a certain staff member, the hours?

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As a follow up, you can ask how they have managed the situation. This will give you an insight into their process for problem solving, including how long they are willing to work at an issue before they ask for help or give up and go looking for a new job.

4. What was the last costume you wore to a dress up party?

David Gilboa, the co-founder of American eyewear brand Warby Parker, is attributed with coming up with this question.

In explanation, he talks about how important it is for staff to have a sense of fun to be a successful staff member in the company. This question has more to it than that, though. It will also tell you if the candidate is willing to get involved with the team, even if it puts them out of their comfort zone. Plus, it will tell you a little about their creativity, a welcome trait in any employee.

5. Is there anything you wish we’d asked you?

Include this one as your final question.

Candidates will often prepare for a huge variety of questions, but not this. If they offer up a question, then answer it, you should be able to take away a few interesting points about what they think is important to tell you, as well as whatever their chosen question is.