You’ve probably witnessed a lot of interviews over the years, whether it’d be from one side of the table or the other. And while the interviewing process is essential in any hiring procedure, sometimes the questions can be repetitively similar — and even monotonous for recruiters and candidates. Maybe it’s to spice it up with some new, more interesting interview questions to add a unique spin on finding the right candidate.
Why Bother Asking Interesting Interview Questions?
You may wonder why you should ask interesting interview questions in the first place. Sure, asking the same basic industry questions may be boring, but these questions are important. Why mix it up?
Interesting interview questions can:
- Help candidates answer authentically, instead of repeating memorized answers
- Start natural conversations, so you can see how candidates converse in day-to-day situations
- Make your business stand out from others, so successful candidates are more likely to accept job offers
Ultimately, there’s no good reason not to ask interesting interview questions.
10 Interesting Interview Questions
Interesting interview questions are innovative and insightful. They help candidates think about ideas they haven’t considered and offer authentic answers. Asked correctly, they lighten the atmosphere of interviews, improving the experience on both sides of the table. Here are ten examples of interesting interview questions candidates probably haven’t been asked before.
If you could switch places with any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?
This question can reveal a lot about the candidate’s personality and values. Their choice of a fictional character can show what qualities they admire in a mentor, such as intelligence, leadership, creativity, or resilience. The follow-up question of why they chose that character can provide insight into the candidate’s communication skills and ability to articulate their thoughts clearly.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?
This question can reveal the candidate’s imagination, problem-solving skills, and values. It can also provide insight into their priorities and goals in life. The answer can give the interviewer an idea of the candidate’s creativity and how they approach challenges.
Are you a hunter or a gatherer?
Test candidates’ critical thinking skills with this question. Self-described hunters and gatherers thrive in multiple roles. What matters is how they link their choice to their job. For example, one candidate may say they’re a hunter because they enjoy identifying and approaching leads, whereas another candidate may say they’re a gatherer because they like cultivating long-term lead relationships.
If you could change one thing about your previous job, what would it be and why?
This question can reveal the candidate’s self-awareness and their ability to reflect on past experiences. It can also provide insight into their values and priorities in the workplace. By asking for just one thing, the interviewer can gain a better understanding of what the candidate considers to be the most important aspect of a job, and what they would want to improve in their future roles.
If you had to teach someone a new skill or concept, how would you go about it?
This question can demonstrate the candidate’s communication skills, patience, and adaptability. It can also reveal their ability to break down complex ideas and make them accessible to others. The answer can give the interviewer an idea of the candidate’s teaching style and how they approach challenges.
If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be, and why?
This question can reveal a lot about the candidate’s personality and values. Their choice of fictional character can show what qualities they admire in a mentor, such as intelligence, leadership, creativity, or resilience. The follow-up question of why they chose that character can provide insight into the candidate’s communication skills and ability to articulate their thoughts clearly.
If you could choose any fictional character to be your mentor, who would it be, and why?
This question may differ depending on the industry you work in. In most cases, you want candidates who turn in work that is on time and good. Projects can always be improved, but deadlines are often immovable. Professionals with experience know this well.
If you had to give a TED talk on any topic, what would it be and why?
This question can demonstrate the candidate’s knowledge, communication skills, and passion. It can also reveal their ability to think critically and communicate complex ideas. The answer can give the interviewer an idea of the candidate’s expertise and how they would use a platform like TED to share their ideas.
What’s one thing you’ve failed at, and what did you learn from it?
This question encourages the candidate to reflect on past experiences and demonstrate their ability to learn from mistakes. The answer can provide insight into the candidate’s resilience, self-awareness, and growth mindset. It also shows their ability to adapt and problem-solve in challenging situations.
What’s a misconception people often have about you, and how do you overcome it?
This question can reveal the candidate’s self-awareness, communication skills, and ability to manage perceptions. The answer can provide insight into how the candidate handles stereotypes or biases and their strategies for building positive relationships. It also shows their willingness to be vulnerable and honest.
Conclusion: Find Questions That Fit
Interesting interview questions engage candidates and encourage them to provide thoughtful and authentic answers. Ultimately, you should always ask questions that get at the heart of what you’re looking for in a candidate— but these questions allow you to come at it with a unique spin.
This article was originally published on December. 9, 2020; it has since been updated and republished on March 21, 2023.