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Uncommon Interview Questions to Truly Understand Your Candidates

Interviews, although a simple concept, play an important role in your business. They serve as a way to understand candidates beyond what’s listed on their resumes. While there is nothing wrong with traditional interview questions that focus on skills and experience, digging deeper and asking unconventional interview questions can help you better understand a candidate’s personality, values, problem-solving abilities, and potential for growth. That’s why we’re giving you seven unique interview questions that will help you make the right hiring choice for your business.

Uncommon Interview Questions

1. Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.

Failure is a natural part of growth, and a candidate’s ability to acknowledge and learn from setbacks speaks volumes about their character. If a potential employee can admit to not being perfect and the lessons they’ve learned, you get a glimpse into how they handle challenges, adapt, and improve, which are essential traits for a strong employee. No one’s perfect, and it takes guts to admit it–especially to a potential employer.

2. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be and why?

This question gives you insight into a candidate’s interests, passions, and values. Their choice of historical figures and their reasoning can highlight their curiosity and potential for innovative thinking. It can also spark conversation, helping to create a comfortable, friendly back-and-forth between the interviewer and the candidate.

3. If you were given a one-week vacation and an unlimited budget, what project or experience would you pursue?

This question taps into a candidate’s priorities and creativity. You’ll better understand their long-term goals, personal interests, and the type of projects that motivate them. Their enthusiasm for a particular project showcases how they might approach challenges and contribute to the company’s culture.

4. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and why?

While this may sound like a silly question, it reveals a candidate’s personality traits and problem-solving skills. Whether they choose a superpower related to leadership, empathy, or analytical thinking, their response can shed light on how they view their contributions to a team.

5. What’s the most innovative idea you’ve ever had for solving a problem?

Innovation is vital for any role, and candidates with the ability to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions are assets worth having in your business. This question allows candidates to demonstrate their potential to contribute fresh ideas to existing challenges that may arise.

6. If you could switch roles with someone in this company for a day, who would it be and why?

If a candidate is serious about their future within the company, they’ll have an easy answer to this question. Not only does it show you what their future career goals are, but it also shows their curiosity about the company’s internal workings. If their answer is very different from the role they’re applying for, it highlights their interest in collaboration and their potential for adapting to varying aspects of the business.

7. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned outside of your professional life?

This question goes beyond a candidate’s work-related experiences. Whether it’s a lesson from a hobby, personal challenge, or life experience, their answer offers insights into their resilience, adaptability, and personal growth.

Ask Them in your Next Interview

Incorporating these unique interview questions into your hiring process can elevate your understanding of candidates and help you build a stronger, more cohesive team. It’s important to remember that a great team isn’t just about their skills–it’s about how the personalities and perspectives come together.

We understand that interviewing candidates can be overwhelming (and time-consuming). That’s why MBS Pro Staffing wants to help. Our recruiters help you find the talent you’ve been searching for. Ready to build a team of strong candidates that will help propel your success? Contact us today!

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