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Unpredictable interview questions to make a candidate stand out

Unpredictable Interview Questions

Asking unpredictable, even wacky, questions will throw your potential employee off and can give you a real insight into how their mind really works unrehearsed.

Candidates will have spent time anticipating the types of questions you will ask them regarding their CV. This will include what did you do in such an such a role. How did you overcome such and such a challenge?

These “standard” questions are very important in ensuring the candidate with the right experience is found. Some of these will have already been screened by the recruitment agency.

Unpredictable questions however will discover the other, equally important aspect of your candidate – their personality and problem-solving skills.

Here are some great questions you could ask to this end:

1.) If I put you in the middle of Dartmoor with your team, what role would you play?

This is a great question to ascertain where they feel they fit within a team, their management/delegation style and where they think their strengths may lie. For example, “I’ll be orienteering” may indicate they have confidence in their direction and communication and can work independently but may not be as comfortable managing the team.

2.) Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?

You’re not trying to find out whether they believe in magic here. It is more about why they believe in what they believe and their persuasion skills. Are they sure of their own beliefs? Can they put together a good argument as to why the monster does or does not exist and convince you either way?

3.) If you had a dog, how would he describe you?

People are often asked how their friends would describe them but what about mans best friend? A dog is dependant on you and asking how this creature would see you can show the candidate’s perspection of their own loyalty, value of friendship and commitment. “My dog would describe me as fun and loyal”.

4.) Would you consider yourself lucky and why?

Considering yourself a lucky person shows that you are grateful for some of the good things you have in life. This humble quality means a candidate is likely to appreciate and work well within in a team plus work hard to achieve more as they know not everyone gets the opportunity. Feeling unlucky doesn’t necessarily mean someone isn’t deserving or hasn’t worked hard, but they are less likely to appreciate those things that genuinely were due to luck or the kindness of others.

5.) Describe how you would make a sandwich

Generally, people complete this task without even thinking. Asking the candidate “how they do theirs” will give you a chance to see how their thought process works and their attention to detail. Do they list the steps in chronological order? Have they forgotten anything? Do they only mention the ingredients or cutlery too?

There is no single set of questions to find out what you need to about a candidate. There are so many variables tied to the type of company, cultural fit and role. The type of business you run will very much determine the tone of your unpredictable questions as well as your Evidence Based Questions for Interviews.

Find out how to speed up your recruitment initiatives to secure valuable candidates here