non traditional interview questions

Companies know how important it is to hire candidates that will fit in with their corporate culture. But with limited time during interviews, how can you determine a candidate’s true personality and really assess how they will fit in? Go beyond the standard biographical or skill-set questions and ask a few nontraditional interview questions that will show you what a candidate is really made of.

The point of these nontraditional interview questions is not to trip a candidate up. There should be no right or wrong answers, just a way to gain insight into the candidate’s sense of humor and give the candidate a taste of your company culture. These questions are a great place to start, but try coming up with a few of your own!

Tell me about a time when a job or company felt like a bad fit for your personality and why. Tell me about a time when you were part of a team that was fun to work with. How did you balance productivity and fun with your co-workers? Tell me about the most unique company event or outing you’ve ever participated in.

11 WEIRD, and UNEXPECTED Interview Questions & Answers!

5.  In five minutes, describe a complicated idea or concept that you feel you know well.

The topic or idea you choose isn’t necessarily what matters when responding to this particular question. It is, rather, about how you can break down, analyze, and communicate the complexities of an issue to someone who has no prior knowledge of it. Of course, the more interesting and engaging the answer, the greater the impact will be.

6.  Of those you know on a personal basis, who do you admire most?

In the past, you may have been asked which public figure you admire most, but some recruiters prefer a different version of this question, as it can help define who you are on a more profound level. What significance does this person hold in your life? Which of this individual’s traits do you value most, and why? Your answers will indicate the types of characteristics you aspire to make your own in the workplace. Be sure to focus on work-positive characteristics such as ambition or eagerness to learn.

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non traditional interview questions

Companies know how important it is to hire candidates that will fit in with their corporate culture. But with limited time during interviews, how can you determine a candidate’s true personality and really assess how they will fit in? Go beyond the standard biographical or skill-set questions and ask a few nontraditional interview questions that will show you what a candidate is really made of.

  • “What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?” This nontraditional interview question is a good way to identify if a candidate works hard and plays hard. A more adventurous candidate is often a calculated risk taker on the job. They are very proactive at work and enjoy getting the most out of life, whether at home or in the office.
  • “What are the first three things you do at work each morning?” How a person answers this question can tell you a lot about how they work. Since each workday needs to be planned, with tasks prioritized, what a candidate does first in the morning is important. A good candidate will respond by mentioning a calendar or status sheet, or talk about getting the highest priorities done first.
  • “What kinds of people bother you?” This nontraditional interview question not only reveals a candidates pet peeves, it’s an indication of how they’ll fit in with different personalities on your team. If the candidate says they’re not bothered by anyone, that’s a red flag. Everyone is bothered by a certain communication style or personality trait. However, if the applicant mentions multiple personality styles that bother them, they likely won’t be a good fit. Listen very carefully to how a candidate answers this question.
  • “When you walk into a room do you prefer to be noticed or fly under the radar?” This question tells you whether they are an introvert or extrovert and whether they recognize the pros and cos of each of those personality types.
  • “What slogan would you put on your self-defining t-shirt?” This could reveal someone’s personal mantra as well as how well they think on their feet and their sense of humor.
  • “What are three goals you have for the future?” Maybe the answer will be work related, or maybe the candidate will tell you about a trip they want to cross off their bucket list. Either way, this question will give you a better understanding as to what really matters to the person you are interviewing.
  • The point of these nontraditional interview questions is not to trip a candidate up. There should be no right or wrong answers, just a way to gain insight into the candidate’s sense of humor and give the candidate a taste of your company culture. These questions are a great place to start, but try coming up with a few of your own!

    FAQ

    What are the 5 unusual interview questions?

    8 Non-Traditional Interview Questions – and How to Handle Them – Stewart, Cooper & Coon | Workplace Strategies
    • What does your work routine look like? …
    • Tell me about a poor professional relationship you’ve had — and why didn’t it work? …
    • How would you define hard work?

    What are 10 good interview questions?

    Unique interview questions
    • “If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose?” …
    • “What was the last gift you gave someone?” …
    • “How many square feet of pizza are eaten in the U.S. each year?” …
    • “If you could compare yourself with any animal, which would it be and why?”

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