Most of the time, applicants already have an idea of the set of questions to be asked during their scheduled interview. They are used to the common questions interviewers throw that’s why their answers sound rehearsed and unoriginal. To help interviewers know more about a candidate and see if they are a right fit for the job and company, it is necessary to probe deeply.
The right questions will definitely bring out information you need to properly screen applicants. In this case, the right questions are the unorthodox type. Here are 10 crazy interview questions that can help you gauge everything from an applicant’s personality to how fast they can think on their feet:
1. “Tell me a joke.”
This isn’t a question of humor but a test of how fast an applicant can come up with a witty answer. It doesn’t matter if it’s not funny enough, what matters is how he delivered the joke to make it appear funny which is part of good communication.
2. “How do you usually spend your Saturdays?”
How an employee spends his downtime isn’t your concern but having a glimpse of his hobbies and interest won’t hurt. Asking this question gives you an opportunity to see if he’s doing something productive even if nobody’s looking. It also tells you if he follows a schedule or just does whatever he feels like doing at the moment.
3. “If you could only take one book to an island and are stuck for the rest of your life, how did you end up on that island?”
While delivering the first part of the question, an applicant already has a particular book in mind and ready to explain why it’s the book he’s going to bring on an island. However, it will come as a surprise when it is revealed that it’s actually not the question. He must think of a possible reason why he was exiled on the island quickly, and shun anything about books in his head.
4. “Ask me a non-work-related question.”
Give the applicant the privilege to ask a question while you evaluate his manner of getting valuable information. The question he will ask you will determine the things he is curious about and the effort he is willing to extent to get information he needs. Interview is a form of research, and research is part of every kind of work.
5. “What is the best piece of advice you can give to your grandchild?”
This is will gauge how much the person has learned in the past and how he is going to explain complicated life lessons to a kid. It is a test of how he can impart knowledge without using deep terms and probably concepts that may not be understandable by young children yet. It is better to let him explain something that is not work-related so he can talk freely.
6. “If you could change something about yourself, why not?”
The question is not a judgment on the person’s character or choices but will reveal how deep his level of awareness about himself, and the excuses he has for not changing or altering behavior.
7. “If a movie will be made about your professional life, what would be the title?”
The title of the movie describes how he lived his life professionally. It tells about his work ethics, achievements, downfalls, and plans in the future. It is also worth noting that he should be able to separate his life at work and life outside the office through this kind of storytelling.
8. “At what age do you want to die?”
Asking about the age the applicant wants to die is a twist to the question “What are your goals in life?” Whether they choose to die young or as old as 100, it tells about the things they want to achieve at a certain age, their priorities, and how they would use their time
9. “If the CEO appoints you to replace him, will you accept?”
Though it is almost next to impossible for the CEO of the company to appoint a new hire to take his place, it is important to know if an applicant is ready for big challenges such as this. It measures the amount of trust and confidence a person attaches to himself and if it borders on being arrogant and cocky.
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10. “What does butter and necktie have in common?”
You can replace “butter” and “necktie” with two different things that do not have a connection at all. This will test the critical and creative thinking of an applicant and his determination to prove that they have something in common when in fact they don’t have any correlation at all.
What out-of-the-box questions have you asked applicants lately? Share them with us!
About the Author
Eunisse De Leon is a writer who aims to develop the leadership skills and personality of every individual through the things she writes. She’s also interested in Korean culture, animal welfare, and design. Follow her on Twitter: @eunissedeleon