You’re a carrot in a salad and a fork is coming towards you. You’re about to be eaten. What do you do?
As bizarre interview questions go, that’s up there with the most abstract, and it’s perhaps not an angle many hiring managers would pursue with any great vigour. However, if you really want to get to know a candidate during an interview, dig down deep into the depths of their personality, throwing them the odd curveball is a sure fire way to get them on the ropes, and it’s often the catalyst to a much more frank, free-flowing and honest interview.
Profound and/or obscure questions encourage a candidate to open up and answer off the cuff, rather than recite a pre-prepared, off-the-shelf answer. This can give you a real insight into the mechanics of their mind, allowing you to determine whether or not the candidate will fit, culturally, in your working environment.
One method of getting to know a potential employee is to interview them without their CV present. This will give you an opportunity to really get to know them, without referring to the usual questions about qualifications and experience.
Here at Hiring Hub, we use the first interview to run through a candidate’s experience and educational background. We deliberately keep it brief, as, for us, it’s just an opportunity to check their suitability and to get an idea of their desire to work for us. It’s at the second interview that we look to find out who is sat in front of us and drill down into their motivation and character.
“During a second interview I would always put the candidate’s CV out of arm’s reach and spend time talking about random stuff,” said Sara Jones, co-founder of Hiring-Hub.com. “That’s when you really find out what a candidate’s like, what drives them, and why they’re sat before you. Answers to these questions are often far more rather important than which school or university they went to.
“We don’t restrict the questioning to a professional environment either,” continued Sara. “It’s often far more revealing to find out why their best friend is their best friend, or when they were last let down badly by someone outside of work, and how they felt about that, than it is to ask questions that specifically relate to the workplace.”
Some interview questions we like to use are:
- Tell me about a time you misjudged a person.
- If the day was 25 hours long, what would you do with that extra hour?
- If I gave you £5000 right now, what would you do with it?
- How do you stack a dishwasher?
- How do I rate as an interviewer?
- Why did you choose to wear that shirt today?
- In your view, what are the major problems in our industry?
- Rank these in the order of importance: power, health, status, wealth.
- Why is your best friend your best friend?
- What did you have for breakfast today?
To find out why we ask these devilishly tough questions and to see the rest, download our eBook which explains why we ask each of these questions and what we're looking for in the perfect answer.
So what’s it like to be interviewed by us here at Hiring Hub? We asked recent recruit Annie Vasiutina an Account Manager who’s been with Hiring Hub since July 2016, how she felt about being bombarded by what could be perceived as pretty irrelevant questions:
“It was really fun, my favourite ever interview. I didnt expect any of the questions so couldnt do the usual answers that you get told to prepare for. A bit worrying almost because you cant work out how well you performed when one of the questions was 'What did you have for breakfast?'. I loved meeting the team as part of the interview process and I felt they were interested in my character more than my CV."