News Article

JOB INTERVIEW TIPS - 10 Unexpected Interview Questions to Get Unrehearsed Answers

Posted 26th November 2020 • Written by •

Calling all Hiring Managers and job Interviewers, if you’re tired of asking the same old job interview questions, here’s a great post from Linkedin with a list of (mostly) new questions you can ask to get your applicants thinking.

Never again will you have to ask “Where do you see yourself in five years?”, “Tell Me About Yourself”, etc., etc., etc.


“What is your greatest strength?”

“Name a time you faced a challenge at work.”

You’ve probably asked these generic questions more times than you’d like to admit. The problem isn’t just that they’re passé — it’s that candidates can see them coming a mile away and they’ve prepped predictable answers to your predictable questions.

You don’t want to ambush candidates, of course, but derailing them from rehearsed responses can reveal new insights into their personality, instincts, and soft skills — like the ability to think on their feet and manage unexpected challenges.

Here are 10 intriguing interview questions that candidates probably haven’t prepared for. They might just make for some interesting conversation too.

1. Describe yourself in one word

As it turns out, it’s actually pretty hard to summarize your entire person in one single adjective. Especially when you’re put on the spot.

This question is particularly ideal for those Gen Z candidates with limited work experience, says Craig Myers, director of talent acquisition at Cadence Design Systems. “There is no right answer to this question,” Craig explains. “We just want to see how new grads think on their feet and outside their comfort zone."

For a challenging follow-up question, consider asking them to name one negative adjective that describes them. It’s easy to boast of positive traits, but if your candidate can admit a flaw, it shows that they’re self-aware and always looking to improve.

2. Tell me about an interesting experience or encounter you’ve had recently

The best recruits come equipped with insatiable curiosity and a creative edge — two key traits that make an employee ready to contribute to a company looking to stand out in an ever-changing, competitive consumer landscape. As Nancy Brown, CEO of The American Heart Association, wrote for Fortune, “Creative thinking serves as a catalyst; it inspires us to engage in conversation and analysis, and to assess all that might be possible.”

You’ll also get a sense of their perspective and person: what they like, dislike, and value.

Read more

Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK