Are you a manager or HR Professional asking the same old classic interview questions? Do you feel like the responses you get are textbook answers almost like a script? Do you feel like asking a candidate your standard interview questions you really get to know who they are? If part of your job role is interviewing and you are tired of the same old questions or if you are onboarding people and they are not really a “team fit”, then read the below advise on how to add some curveball questions to spice up the interview, keep the candidates on their toes and get to know the real person.
Why would you ask unusual interview questions?
Injecting something new into the way you interview by throwing in some unusual interview questions will give some variety for you as an interviewer. It is refreshing to hear the answers to unique questions as they will always be more personal and individual. Let’s be honest anyone can google “How to answer what’s your biggest weakness in an interview” and therefore you will always get the scripted substandard answer. You may also see better staff retention since you will be ensuring a good cultural fit to your team not just the competency to do the job. In our experience you will make the applicant feel more at ease, they are then more likely to show their true self and perform better by letting down their guard and not feeling so nervous. It also creates an aspect of fun in the interviews. If you have a big recruitment drive or just have a longlist of applicants relevant for a specific role, doing multiple interviews back-to-back can seem repetitive, a curveball question may very well be the reason you remember the candidate. There are many more benefits to adding some spice into your hiring process through changing up the type of questions you ask, and we encourage you give this a try in your next round of interviews.
How and when to implement your change in interview questioning?
It is important to understand this is still an interview and it can’t all be fun. You should be structured in your approach to this and ensure you still strike the balance of serious questions. If you ask “fun” questions for the whole interview the candidate will likely not take you seriously. Use these curveball questions at the right time and mix them up but be organised. If you throw them in sporadically you could come across as unprofessional and the interview will lose focus and flow. The ideal times to ask these questions are at the beginning as an “ice breaker” or towards the end as a “let your hair down” moment. Ensure to be clear to the candidate the shift so after a fun question at the beginning to make them feel relaxed you could then say “Right, now onto the serious part” or if you’ve asked all if your competency based questions, you can say something like “The hard bit is over, now to get to know you a little better”. This clear transition helps you keep your professional edge and gives the candidate permission to be a bit “freer”.
What curveball interview questions to ask and why? The list could be endless but here are some examples and why you would use them.
Depending on your team come up with a question that could give you an insight as to how they would integrate. If you have a sports mad team, you can ask “If you could be a professional sportsperson what sport would it be in and why?” The answer will show you how they will interact with the team and will lead onto further discussion about teams they may support which can then progress to where they are from etc, thus getting to know the individual.
To get to know someone as a character a great question to ask could be “If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?” Depending on their answer you can ascertain if they like to be sneaky (invisibility), adventurous and ambitious (fly) or compassionate (healing touch).
Creativity and Quick thinking
“How would you describe the look of this interview room to a blind person”. How fast they can respond and what descriptive words they use can show how quick thinking they are and how creative they are in to painting the picture.
Honesty and Integrity
This is a difficult one as you want to see honesty in a future employee however most job seekers have to lie about what they are doing when attending an interview for a new job whilst still working. By asking “Where did you tell your current boss you are right now to attend the interview?” you will see how far they are willing to bend the truth. It is an awkward one but keep it light so as to not make the candidate feel uncomfortable. Perhaps by giving the example of what excuse you used when interviewing to get the job you’re in, you will make them feel more than at ease to share.
A trait most of us like to see regardless of role discipline or industry, there are multiple questions to ask to see how someone’s brain works and how quick they can start thinking about solutions. We think the funnier the better with this as something obscure can throw someone off and you will see how they react to something they have not thought about before. An example could be “What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?”
There are many more areas you can test and example questions to ask but we will leave it with you to be creative and come up with some questions to test the areas and characteristics important to the specific job you’re hiring for or for your organisation. Funny interview questioning has become increasingly popular with hiring managers and talent acquisition teams and is utilised by even global leading organisations such as Amazon.
For assistance in all your hiring needs and for any further advise on how to conduct an interview or think outside the box to add some life to your interviews then contact one of GRS Recruitment expert Consultants today firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office +357 25342720