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  • Writer's pictureLeanne Brownoff

10 Unexpected Interview Questions ...that highlight best fit candidates for your business

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

So you are about to hire for that important position. Are you dreaming about all you could accomplish with the right person in the role? Exciting times aren’t they?

But finding the right candidate for a position can be a daunting task. From creating the position, posting it for public viewing, fielding the responses, vetting the applicants for possible consideration and conducting the all important screening calls. Then the interviews begin.

The time and energy commitment required, even before you offer the lucky candidate the job, is enormous. It is interesting that even with all of this calculated effort, there are times when the successful individual does not fit the position or the organization’s culture, after all. Unfortunately it happens more often than you realize.

You may know of people who “interview well” but lack the proof that their resume and references promised.

Most interview processes follow a similar approach:

“tell me about your experience…”, “ have you ever had to deal with a difficult situation…”, “why are you leaving your current position?”, “why do you want to work here…”

These are all excellent questions but they are also so standard that everyone comes prepared to answer them…at least they should.

But how will you know what really makes the candidate tick or react when things are not expected.

Let’s face it, business is built on unpredictability and your team has to be able to assess the situation, respond and explain their actions. You need to hire thinkers so conduct your interview to let the best thinkers rise to the top.

Here is a list my favourite top 10 questions that I use to shake things up and see what the candidate is really all about. It is a great way to identify important characteristics that may not come through in a standard interview. These questions evoke unrehearsed answers that demonstrate quick response, creativity and personality.Listen for the explanation behind the response to get a true picture of whether this person will fit the role and be a great addition to your business culture.

Top 10 Unexpected Interview Questions:

1) When was the last time you bent the rules and why?

Good for determining whether you have a rule follower or an independent thinker.

2) Describe the colour yellow to someone without sight.

Excellent for a position requiring: sales, marketing, mentoring/ training, managing, leading, and communicating

3) Teach me something- anything in 5 minutes

This gets the candidate in their comfort zone. It is fun and very telling, showcasing skills such as: communication, ability to interact, and personal interests. I have been taught how to tie a bow tie, do a proper arm curl, how to select bed sheets, how to make an origami crane… It is a fabulous way to learn about your prospective new hire.

4) Last gift you gave someone, what was it and why did you give it to them?

This explains their state of “awareness”, attention to detail, and ability to be others focused and their creativity.

5) If you were a new addition to the crayon box, what would you be and why?

This answer tells you a great deal about how the candidate sees themselves as a team member. Some colours are bold and stand out, while others are harmonizing and supportive, some cheerful and energetic and other calming and contemplative.

6) Other than money, tell me something about your last position that would have inspired you to stay?

This provides important hints as to what is required from you and the position, if they were offered the job.

7) What advice would you give your previous supervisor?

This is a good test for observing diplomacy skills. It is important to hear their response as they may be giving you clues as to how they prefer to be supervised.

8) First word that pops into your head…

What word would your staff use to describe you?

What would your colleagues say to describe you?

What would your supervisor say to describe you?

Do this in rapid fire. First words that come to their mind will often be most accurate. No time to hunt for the better word.

9) If you were given the option to have one super hero power and your choice was to fly or be invisible, what would you choose and why?

This is a fun question that shows the candidates thought process and problem solving skills for selecting between options.

10) If you had the ability to invent something that doesn’t yet exist what would it be and why?

This is a great question to tap into a creative and innovative side of the candidate. Perfect for roles that are responsible for growth and improvement- which should really be every position in the company.

Add these questions to your interview process to help you find the best fit for your business now and in the future.

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