The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Unique Interview Questions
Whether you are a company looking to hire or someone looking for a job, there is a lot of preparation and hard work from both sides. We often don’t realize how much work is involved to hire, how much each side is doing, and how involved each party really is. Most companies hire a dedicated “hiring manager” or staff, usually in the department of Human Resources, to deal with the whole process of recruitment, hiring, and even firing.
For the company, who is preparing to hire someone, they must know the job position they want to fill, the salary the intend to pay, list the information in an ad or job search website, go through emails, download resumes, go through resumes, pick potential candidates, interview potential candidates, sometimes more than once, do background checks, fill out paperwork, educate and train the employee to the standards of company policies as well as the job, prepare for the usual 90-day process that comes with the hiring period, in which it is determined whether the candidate proves whether they are qualified, as they said they were, for the job or not, and if they were successful after the 90 days, everything is fairly smooth sailing from there, but if they were not successful, the firing process begins, along with the entire recruitment to hire process all over again.
A lot of resources are put into everything on the company end when hiring someone. The sole trust is put into the hiring staff’s hands, who also do their own research on how to hire the best candidates, qualities to find in a resume that are fit for the company, what questions to ask, how to interpret those questions asked, what to look out for, in order to find the perfect candidate for the company.
For the person looking for a job, while the work may seem less than what all a company has to do, a person must look for the job they want, update their resume, gather and inform their references, ensure they are qualified for the job before they apply for it, possibly go shopping for the appropriate attire, brush up on their own interview skills, and hopefully learn some background about the company before they apply. If they were unemployed for a while, they must know how to answer that specific question, or at least make sure they are ready to enter into the workforce once again.
When it comes down to it, the whole process is a full-time job, but can lead to some great benefits if both sides are successful. The company that hired the candidate has filled a needed spot and the new employee now has a job along with a steady income. Everything is a routine process and ought to be changed up every so often, and that part of the process, which allows for difference and uniqueness is: the interview questions.
A query to any search engine about interview questions will lead to thousands of websites all with some generic questions, sometimes more specialized and focused on specific jobs pertaining to the tasks in those jobs, but very rarely would anyone ever think of those questions that throw you off, bring out the real personality in the candidate, and also make it fun for the hiring employer.
Interview questions pertaining to any of these may not be asked and are illegal:
- Place of Birth
- Marital Status (you will have to be truthful when you fill out any legal documents)
- Children (you will have to be truthful when you fill out any legal documents)
Legal random interview questions are designed to throw people off, make them think on their feet, but are also completely legal to ask. For example, finding out someone’s favorite superhero might tell you a lot about them: The Hulk, Spiderman, Superman, Batman, or any other Marvel character could tell you what type of superhero they prefer. Asking what superpower they would prefer to have if they could choose any single one, which might also lead you to see their thought process and possibly their creative side.
These interview questions must be carefully designed and asked in order to not offend, but they also must be relevant to the job position. Thinking up questions about what people would do in stressful situations, situations that require them to come up with creative ideas in a short period of time with very minimal tools, to seeing how they would react in certain situations. Instead of the usual questions, it might help bring out the personality of a person to talk about things they are passionate about and interested in.
While a company might think that asking generic questions, to which they will receive generic answers to is straight to the point, unfortunately, it very seldom reveals the charisma and personality that most people have, but fail to show in a serious nerve-racking interview. Not only does it show that the person has a personality, but that the company has a personality too.
These unique questions will not only have interviewees completely unprepared and have to come up with some unique answers on the spot, but it also means there are no right or wrong answers for the interviewee or the interviewer. While direct and subtle questions, with right and wrong answers, can certainly lead the hiring staff to know whether the candidate is right for the job or not, more open-ended questions can take more time to analyze, but provide more insight into who a person is and if they are truly right for the job. Anything can technically be determined from these questions, but the whole purpose of asking random questions is lighten the mood a bit and to see how the candidate will react and answer to questions that are completely out of the norm.
These are just some unique questions that can be asked:
- Who is a role model in your life, other than your mom or dad?
- If you were President of the United States, what is the first thing you would try to change once in office?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- What is your spiritual animal?
- Cats or dogs? Why?
- Who is your favorite superhero and why?
- If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
- Fame or immortality?
- If you could go back at one specific time period in your life and change it, when would that time period be and what would you change?
- What do you like to cook?
- What is your dream job?
- What’s your story?
- If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
- If you no longer had to worry about bills, what would you do?
- If you won the lottery, what are the steps you would take to claim your winnings?
- If you were to lead a team of five people, what would your philosophy for the group be?
- Tell us about a time when things didn’t go your way and what did you do about it?
- What type of music do you listen to and what are your favorite bands?
- If I were to come over to your place right now, do you need time to tidy up or would you be willing to show me what your place looks like as is?
- Is your kitchen sink empty at this very moment? Can I come over and check it out?
- Explain your morning routine.
- What is a typical breakfast for you?
- What do you do on the weekends?
- What do you normally watch on television?
- What are your favorite shows?
- What do you normally do after you get home from work?
- What do you drink?
- What is your favorite meal?
- Pepsi or Coke?
- Boxing or Wrestling?
- Windows, Linux, or Mac?
- If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
- If you could live anywhere else in the world right now, where would you live?
- If we were told we had to meet a deadline today, at the last minute, and we had not even started the project yet, what would you do?
- Sell me a banana.
- Sell me a company of your choice.
- Tell me about a time you screwed up.
- Tell me about a time at work where your efforts went unnoticed, but you did an amazing job.
- What does success mean to you?
- Do you ever drive over the speed limit?
- What motivates you?
- In five minutes, could you explain something to me that is complicated but you know well?
- Tell me three things about you that I don’t know.
- What position am I hiring you for?
- How do you stay current and up to date with everything?
- What would you change on your resume and why?
- Would you say that you are a lucky person?
- What is the biggest conception about you?
- What is your favorite website?
- What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
- You’ve got X minutes, impress me!
- If you didn’t have to work, what would you be doing with your time?
- If we all came to work with a thousand new emails today and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
- Imagine you are the judge in a case of someone who stole a loaf of bread to feed their starving family, what type of penalty would you pass down to them?
- Describe color to someone who is blind.
- Who is your favorite Disney princess and why?
- What was a defining moment in your life?
- What was a project you worked on that changed your way of thinking?
- Is it better to be perfect and late, or good and on time?
- What’s your definition of hard work?
- What is something you’d be happy doing every single day for the rest of your career?
- If you had $50,000 to build your own business, what would you do?