The questions you ask job candidates during the interview process can make or break your chances of landing exactly who you want. Hedge your bets by focusing on the good and cutting out the bad. And don’t rule out weird interview questions. Take a look below at some that have been asked recently (and who asked them).
Best Question: What has been the single most significant accomplishment in your career?
There’s no “pat” answer to this; the job candidates needs to be specific. That’s what makes it so great. What’s more, the answer will give you clear insight into what the candidate values in their career. Is it collaboration? Recognition? Hard work?
Steven Tulman, chief revenue officer at UNOapp & Digital MenuBox, offers additional praise for this type of question, saying, “It opens the door for digging deeper with [follow up] questions that can generate a conversation that can easily last for half of the interview.”
Those deeper questions, says Tulman, include: Why do you consider this to be your biggest career achievement? And, tell me more about your team for this project and your role on the team. It may also be a good idea to follow that with: Did you encounter adversity? What was it? How did you overcome it?
In case you’re wondering, the second runner up to this top interview question is: Why should we hire you? Although, be careful with this one: Job candidates will try to impress you with predictable answers. Look for those who have already thought it through and are specific with what sets them apart.
Worst Question: What is your weakness?
Let’s be frank: “gotcha” questions are insulting. And this question is the mother of them all. Ask it and you’re begging to be fed a line like, “I’m a workaholic,” “I just care SO MUCH,” “My high level of responsibility often leaves me holding the bag.”
Not convinced? Allow The Oatmeal to better explain why asking about weaknesses is as useful as beating the candidate “with a sack of pickles for a few minutes”:
If you must ask this question, save it for the candidate’s references. They’ll likely have a more realistic vantage point, although you’ll get further by asking more specifically how the candidate has handled certain situations in the past.
Weirdest Question: Who would win in a fight between Spiderman and Batman?
This is an actual interview question asked at Stanford University. Another standout question posed at Southwest Airlines: Describe the color yellow to somebody who’s blind.
These and other weird interview questions are highlighted on the Glassdoor Blog. It’s easy to assume that weird interview questions are inherently bad interview questions, created just for shock value. But that’s not true. Depending on the company culture and the nature of the job, they can be some of the best screening tools around.
The trick is to preface the question by stating there is no right or wrong answer. That will put the job candidate at ease instead of assuming they’re being tricked with, again, an insulting “gotcha” question. Rather, use weird questions when you want to either test the candidate’s analytical thinking or, more simply, find out a little more about their personality.
What are your favorite interview questions? Which ones have you stopped using and why? We’re considering sharing anonymous responses to these questions in a follow up blog post. Don’t be shy, we’d love to hear from you!
Main Image Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo
Second Image Copyright: The Oatmeal