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4 uncoventional questions that employers should ask potential candidates

Sromona Bhattacharyya
7th Nov 2016
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Many candidates prepare for their interviews like school kids studying for their exams – learning by rote answers for expected questions. This defeats the purpose of an interview, which is an opportunity for the prospective employees to demonstrate how their minds actually work. With a proliferation of books, articles, and videos on the questions to expect at an interview,  candidates already have an idea of what might come their way and prepare accordingly.

Employees hired based on their excellent responses to interview questions may prove to be inefficient or a bad fit.

There is a simple way out for hiring managers from this conundrum; ask unconventional interview questions.

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What book would you like everyone to read?

In most cases, books are a great way to judge the curiosity and intelligence of a person.. This is a great question to ask because even average readers have a book that they find inspiring and want to recommend to others. If your candidate cannot think of a single book or cannot give a particular reason to share a book, it definitely raises some red flags. It either means that they don’t like reading books, or the things they read is not worth sharing.

What is the most difficult decision you ever made?

Whether it’s a tough decision taken in a personal or a professional context, every story will convey a message. This is an unconventional interview question for either the candidate has to make up an inspiring story (which could work in the applicant’s favour if you’re looking for someone who can think on his feet) or share a real insipiring story. You can tell a lot about a potential great candidate just by hearing how they handled the situation and solved the problem based on logical thinking and data analysis.

If you could start a business, what would it be?

As an entrepreneur you need people who are ambitious and visionary like you, because after all, most startups are based ideas that are off-the-beaten-track. Irrespective of the type of business, this unconventional interview question will help you assess the candidate’s creative faculty. They are much more likely to fit into your organization if they provide a credible answer.

How would you handle a situation where you got into a conflict with a coworker or a customer?

In any work environment that has a lot of people on board, conflict is inevitable. You do not want a candidate who blames others and doesn’t accept responsibility. Choose a person whose response demonstrates that he will focus on solving the problem rather than passing the buck. You need employees who can admit when they are at fault instead of bickering like children and contribute to a chaotic professional environment.

There are many a unconventional interview question that can help you find great candidates. Do comment below and share an unconventional question that you might have been asked or one that you want to ask.

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