Forget about “what kind of tree would you be?” (famously asked of actress Katherine Hepburn by Barbara Walters several years ago).
If you’re looking for unorthodox questions to ask job candidates, questions that nevertheless should provide you a great deal of insight into the job seeker, see some of our favorites, below.
- Apple is reported to ask this question: “If you were a pizza delivery man, how would you benefit from scissors?” The question is to help an interviewer ascertain if the candidate can see the logic in the question, which is how anyone in any job could benefit from having a pair of scissors. The question is not to see if the candidate can say “I could use scissors to cut the pizza into slices.”
- “Are you a hunter or a gatherer?” The answer to this question will help you determine if a candidate is a multi-tasker (a gatherer) or a hunter (single-focused).
- “Who would play you in movie about your life and why?” The idea behind this question is that the answer – the actor or actress the candidate chooses – can give you insight into the candidate’s associations, attributes and values.
- “If you could sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?” Like the question about choosing an actor to play the candidate in a movie, this question also can help you determine a candidate’s values and outlook.
- “If you were stuck on a desert island and could bring only three things, what would they be?” Paring down to the absolute essentials to a person’s well-being can be a real eye opener for a hiring manager.
- Ditto the answer to the question: “What is your least favorite thing about humanity?”
- “If you were 80 years, what would you tell your children?” Such a question helps you see what really matters to a candidate.
- “How honest are you,” will help you see a) if a candidate even admits to ever lying and b) gives you an opening to discuss honesty, lies and the importance of being forthright with the candidate.
What are some of the oddest questions you’ve ever been asked when you interviewed for a position? As a manager, do you ever ask “weird” questions of candidates? If so, why?