20 Unique, Weird, or Unexpected Interview Questions To Ask [And Why]

It is time to fill a vacancy in your team.

You have to determine which of the numerous candidates who have applied have the right combination of required skills, professional experience, and culture fit for the vacant position.

Making a mistake and hiring the wrong person could have negative consequences for you and your team.

But how do you make the right choice and hire the right person? Is the interview enough to determine whether the candidate will be the right fit? It can be—if you ask the right questions. 

In this post, we will look into the exact questions you should be including in your interviews: questions that are unexpected and <weird, but certainly helpful in finding the right candidate.

1. “If you could choose between being invisible or being able to fly, which would you choose?”

 

At first, it may sound a bit weird to ask this question. However, Forbes found it to be a great indicator of potential leadership ability, as over 70% of surveyed leaders chose flying over being invisible. 

When you think about it, the question is actually asking whether a candidate prefers to be in the spotlight or behind-the-scenes.

Both answers are fine, and this shouldn’t be the only way you determine a candidate’s culture fit, and personality. However, it is a great indicator of where someone could have the most impact on your team.

2. “If you could compare yourself to any animal, which animal would it be and why?”

 

This question can help you see how creative, innovative, and quick-thinking a candidate is.

Your candidates should use this question as an opportunity to talk about their strengths and good character. 

3. “How many books could fit in this room?”

 

While this question is usually intended for candidates applying primarily for technical positions that require a lot of complex problem-solving skills, you can also ask it to candidates applying for other positions. 

The point of this question is to see how the candidates will approach resolving tasks rather than providing an accurate answer. This question is frequently used to determine the candidate’s logical thinking abilities.

4. “What is your favorite fairytale, and why?”

 

By asking the candidates this question, you will relax the atmosphere a bit, which makes this a great conversation starter.

Besides being a great ice-breaker, this question will help you understand the candidate’s personal traits and their typical behavior.

5. “What do you believe in that most people don’t?”

This is another question that will help you determine the candidate’s personality more in-depth. 

For example, asking it might help you figure out how deeply your candidates think about certain questions and to estimate their general cultural awareness.

6. “Are you a hunter or a gatherer?”

 

The answer to this question will help you determine the primary strengths and weaknesses of a candidate. Even though there is no correct answer, the answer can usually help with determining the type of job the candidate would be good at.

For example, an analyst is more likely to be a gatherer because they search for and analyze large amounts of data and information. On the other hand, an account executive should be the hunting type, as they are the ones that should be able to win over the clients and catch new opportunities.

7. “What board game do you like the most?”

 

Ask this question to reveal the candidate’s strengths, as well as their preferable work activities.

A Monopoly lover is most likely a person that has strong strategic thinking abilities. They are also more likely to be ambitious and ready to spend long hours resolving a challenging task.

8. “What would you do if another employer suggests a salary that is twice higher than the salary we offer?”

 

This is a tough one, and there is no correct answer to give.

However, you should still check for signs that will tell you whether or not a candidate is giving a sincere answer. If a candidate is assuring you that they would never accept such an offer without giving a proper explanation, that could mean that they are being dishonest with you.

9. “If you were a kitchen appliance, which one would you be?”

 

Another great ice-breaker, as it will make even the most serious candidates laugh.

This question aims to help the candidate relax and lets them know they are in a friendly circle of people. It allows you to look into some of their traits, their sense of humor, imagination, and creativity.

10. “If you had the opportunity — how would you transform society?”

 

This question aims to show the candidate’s social responsibility and their ability to think globally.

Asking it could help you see the global issues your candidates care about the most. 

11. “What would you do if you found a lottery ticket and won $20M right after this interview?”

 

Usually, you would ask this question to see what motives them.

Their answer can only help you see whether they are motivated by their work or money is the only thing they seek. Also, it will help you discover their aspirations and goals, both personal and professional.

12. “What is your spirit animal, and why?”

 

Ask this question to see how your candidates see themselves as a part of society and to get a glimpse of values and personality traits.

13. “How would you describe the color blue to a blind person?”

 

This question aims to test the candidate’s imagination, creativity, and ability to think outside of the box.

Their response could help you determine their work ethics and problem-solving skills.

14. “Would you damage a colleague’s career to climb up the ladder?”

 

Here’s another interesting question to discover a candidate’s work ethics and priorities.

Those who respond with “yes” are usually proactive and more ambitious, but at the same time, they may harm the company culture and pay less attention to the team’s environment.

15. “List 5 things you could do with a clip, not including binding papers.”

 

Asking this question, weird at first, you’ll notice that candidates never really thought of it. Their unprepared answers can assist in determining a candidate’s creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and quickness.

16. “Why are maintenance holes round?”

 

Ask this question to figure out your candidates’ ability to think logically.

To give you an answer: essentially, any cover’s shape other than a circle could allow the cover to fall into the hole easily. Additionally, a circular cover can easily be removed when needed.

17. “Imagine that someone gave you an elephant and that you can’t sell it or give it away. What would you do with it?”

 

This is another excellent ice-breaker question that will help the candidate feel more relaxed.

Their answer will depend on their sense of humor and creativity.

18. “What are the character traits you like the most and the least in your parents?”

This question belongs in the culture fit category.

The qualities a candidate likes and dislikes about their parents would attract or irritate them in coworkers. As for the positive traits they list, they, themselves, will likely demonstrate them in their work.

19. “Imagine yourself on a deserted island. You do not need to take care of food or water. What things would you like to have with you?”

A candidate can use this question to provide a glimpse into their life’s priorities.

Depending on the items they choose, you can use their answer to try and understand their personality.

20. “Imagine you have discovered that your boss is having an affair with an employee. What would you do?”

 

The candidate’s work ethics and how compliant they would be with the company’s rules is something you can expect to determine their answer to this question.

It can also show how loyal they are and how they can handle confidential information. There is no right or wrong answer, as it largely depends on the position and the company. However, look out for honesty.

Final thoughts

 

So there you have it — the top 20 unique, weird, or unexpected questions to ask candidates during the interview. These questions are great at determining the candidate’s personality and whether or not they will be a good fit for the company. 

However, this does not mean that you should not ask them the usual personality questions. 

A mix of the usual questions with a sprinkle of unique and unexpected ones can get you the best basis for assessing the candidate’s personality, life goals, cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. 

If you need any help with recruiting, be sure to check out Recruiteze — a resume management system that takes the pain out of recruiting by creating an online job board and a professional applicant tracking system that does all the hard work for you.

With Recruiteze, you can post and publish jobs, track candidates at different stages, and manage their resumes.

Additionally, you can send them automated emails in a better and mobile-friendly interface design that will make the hiring process as easy and straightforward as possible for both you and your candidates.

Thank you for reading!

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