Ask Your Job Candidates These 14 Nontraditional Interview Questions For Deeper Insights

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!

3.  How would you define hard work?

This is another attempt to gauge your working style: Is working on one project for a long length of time your idea of hard work? Perhaps it is working on a number of smaller projects at a very fast pace. There isn’t really a right or wrong way to answer this, but be truthful since your answer may determine whether you are a fit for the company’s culture.

4.  Is there a type of person (or personality) that bothers you?

This question is meant to help the interviewer assess how well you will get along with the company’s current employees. Nevertheless, it’s not a good idea to say that no one ever troubles you — we all take issue with certain characteristics from time to time — however, how you answer this question is critical. Without sounding overly disparaging, focus on conscious reasons why a specific trait may distress you, and then discuss how you have overcome that barrier in the past, or how you plan to in the future.

non traditional interview questions

Some of the questions are designed to break the ice, some to bring out interviewees personality, values and aspirations, some to not only see whether she did her homework about your company, but to see if she fits into the companys culture, some to identify if she crumbled under the pressure, and some to uncover both creativity and the leadership traits. None of these questions should throw the right candidate off or confuse him. After all, the right team members will not be afraid of or put off by any challenge in their path. Right?

non traditional interview questions

Im not a fan of these types of questions for an actual interview if being used to help determine a hire. But if you do want to have a good get-to-know-you question, ask, “What would you be doing for work if you had not gotten into this?” This opens up the door to what theyre interested in outside of work, such as their hobbies, dream job, passion, etc. – Evan Lassiter, Contino

Honesty is my number one value. Some claim to never tell even white lies, which is my least favorite answer. I see this as dishonest in itself. While some do TMI, most give you an example of something small but real, showing what they really value and where their line is. I use this to understand their values, highlight any red flags and to consider things that I might need to watch out for. – Karla Reffold, BeecherMadden

What’s your biggest dream? And what’s your biggest fear? These interview questions tell you a lot about whether the candidate puts their focus on trust or fear. It also makes it easier to know how to motivate the candidate if they should become a new hire. – Anne Iversen, TimeXtender

A question like this makes two things apparent. The first is that we all gravitate to certain things. It’s better to know upfront where an applicant prefers to focus. Secondly, this gives you a clue as to whether the candidate is appropriately introspective and self-aware. A great candidate knows how to play to their strengths and how to build a team to round out capabilities. – Stacey Browning, Paycor

Candidates will often tell you what they did in certain roles, but I like to find out what they learned from that position and how they have applied it (or will apply it) in other roles. For example, if a person who managed a warehouse was charged with handling inventory, how will those time management skills apply to a new role in sales? – Greg Furstner, SkillPath

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