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5 Non-traditional Interview Questions That Can Help You Select the Best Candidate

August 30th, 2011

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When it comes to interviewing, having an effective list of interview questions to pull from can make the difference between identifying a stellar candidate or ending up with a dud. By adding a few non-traditional interview questions into the mix, it’s easier to select the best candidates for the job because of how these candidates respond. Here are 5 non-traditional questions that can help you find diamonds in the rough among your candidate list.

Describe the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? While this question may seem a little unrelated to work habits, being somewhat of a risk taker signifies someone who is a natural leader. Calculated risk taking can indicate a person who is not afraid of taking chances in order to experience something better. This trait can benefit the workplace in those that encourage team work and creativity. The more in detail the candidate responds, the higher level of creativity one may expect.

Where do you see yourself in five years? This question often gets raised eyebrows from interviewees, but it’s a very important one from a hiring standpoint. If the candidate is just looking for temporary placement or is using this opportunity as a stepping stone, the answer will most likely focus on the candidate’s personal goals. If the interviewee answers that he or she would like to take on a role of more responsibility within your company, there’s a likelihood of being a more stable candidate who can be developed.

What are the signs that an employer is a good one to work for? Let’s face it; job seekers are usually looking for a career where they can shine. They are in it for the money, the title or the advancement opportunities. However, it’s rare that a candidate will step outside of his or her personal needs to choose a company based on it’s merits. Look for candidates who speak about wanting to work for an organization with high ethics, community responsibility and an environment where employees collaborate to create new and better things.

Describe your last job/ boss in three words? When you ask this question, be prepared for the client to either laugh or look stunned. This non-traditional interview question is sometimes better than an employment verification check as the reaction of the candidate speaks volumes. A candidate who has positive work experiences will answer with positive words and generally more than three will come to mind. Someone who has left on bad terms will have trouble with this one, or may refuse to answer it. Take note of the candidate’s verbal and non-verbal responses.

If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be? This is a fun interview question to throw in, especially to break the ice with nervous candidates. Who the interviewee picks can say a great deal about his or her personal values. The best candidates will choose a super hero who is all powerful and then will go into detail how they will change the world in a positive way. Look for those who explain how being a superhero can benefit mankind and you have the makings of great employees.

Want more tips on effective interviewing? Check with the employment professionals at Concorde Personnel today.

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