Wouldn’t it be great if you could tell how well a candidate may perform on the job by staring into a crystal ball? Unfortunately, for many hiring managers, this is not a possibility so they rely on other methods of selecting the best candidates.

One of the more effective ways of picking out the cream of the crop candidates is by using smart interviewing techniques – including unique or unusual interview questions. In fact, some of the world’s most well-known companies are using this as a way of weeding out top candidates from lesser qualified
candidates. Unusual interview questions are becoming a trend with companies who want to identify the best.

A Glassdoor.com article recently highlighted some of the weird and wacky interview questions that employers are asking. While you don’t have to go off the wall with your interviewing questionnaires, there are some unique interview questions you can use to select the best candidates. Here are just a few.

#1 – If you could be a super-hero, who would you be?

This is a fun ice-breaker oddball interview question that requires the candidate to be creative and share his or her interests. The most creative candidates will not only name their favorite super-hero, they will explain why they want to be that entity and how they can change things for the better.

#2 – Who would you consider to be the greatest thought leader?

A question like this gives you the opportunity to delve into the psyche of a candidate and gain insight into their values and ideals. It is also postulated that candidates who answer with a dead thought leader may more inclined to hold time-tested values dearly, while those who answer with a current thought leader may more likely to be forward thinkers and innovators.

#3 – Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The new economy has left many candidates simply looking for a paycheck, without regard to career growth and aspirations.  While this interview question seemed to have worn out its welcome many moons ago, it is back in vogue as result of the fractured workforce.  Use this question to uncover whether the candidate is truly thinking about how his career path fits into your company structure and culture, or is merely looking for a safe landing.

#4 – In five seconds, name three words to describe yourself?

Putting a candidate on the spot does not give them time to fabricate an answer that they know you want to hear.  This is great way to elicit a quick, honest response that more often than not is an accurate description of your candidate.

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#5 – When I call your former employers, how will they describe you?

It’s good to know if a candidate has left on positive terms or not so positive. This can help you discover how they handle themselves professionally.  This is also a great alternative to “tell me about your weaknesses”, which candidates are obviously not inclined to do.

#6 – You are asked to an important dinner meeting with an important client. How will you dress?

This is a great way to discover a candidate’s goals and aspirations.  You will also learn where a candidate is in their job search process, including other companies and types of positions for which they are currently interviewing.

#7 – What is the last book you read and what did you learn?

A question of this nature asks the candidate to share more than just their work history. It can demonstrate their interests, degree of intellectual curiosity, and common ground with your other staff members.

#8 –Do you believe in your dreams? What are they?

Many candidates are frustrated with the entire job search process, and they are prepped with all the canned interview questions. Find out if they still have dreams for their career and how your company can make that happen.

Effective interviewing can be a powerful tool in the recruiting business. Take the time to develop interesting and unique interview questions and methods to make this process much more productive and less stressful on candidates.

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