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

If you’ve been interviewing candidates for a few years, you know that the same worn-out interview questions become ineffective over time. That’s because candidates of today are much more prepared and ready to answer with canned responses. In order to take things up a notch, it’s time to employ a few non-traditional interview questions to establish who are the better candidates among the pile of resumes you have on your desk. Here are some fun, non-traditional interview questions that are absolutely legal to use, and will accomplish this task.

“What’s your favorite movie and why?”

This is a great ice-breaker and a non-traditional interview question that most candidates won’t see coming, even the most seasoned job seekers. While asking about the candidate’s personal views on movies are, it can provide you with valuable insight about values if they answer with detail. For example, a job seeker with conservative work values will indicate that they like an old movie, while a more progressive candidate may provide a movie title that falls into a Sci-Fi or Fantasy category. Make sure that you read between the lines when hearing the response.

“If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be?”

There’s a lot to be said about who our heroes are. When it comes to using this as a non-traditional interview question, you can gain a lot of insight with a candidate by carefully evaluating the response. Most candidates will stay in a safe zone and indicate their preference for a hero like Ghandi, Martin Luther King or someone of social prominence, but it’s the brave few who will say something like “Super Man” or “The Green Hornet”. Those candidates are the adventure seekers who will bring energy and influence into the workplace.

“How do you see yourself in a few years?”

Some hiring managers may see this as too direct of a question, but it’s one that needs to be asked upfront of all candidates. Why? Because there seems to be a movement of candidates who generally lack loyalty and commitment to the companies for whom they work today. It’s not uncommon for candidates to continue their job search whilst accepting a job at your company. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the career board Monster.com indicates that as many as 84% of employed people spend time looking for work while on the job. Find out if what the candidate’s dream of success meshes with your company objectives, before making the job offer.

“What are the first five things you do every morning at work?”

While this may not seem to be a non-traditional interview question, it’s not something that’s regularly asked of job candidates. Yet, the answer to this question can speak volumes about the kind of person you have in front of you. Look for responses akin to dressing for success, making a list of priorities, and being highly organized. These are the types of traits your company needs to stay ahead in a competitive world, so a candidate who answers in a positive way is worth your investment.

“Describe the riskiest thing you have ever done?”

This is a non-traditional interview question that’s based on the standard “are you a risk taker” section of the personality test. However, in this more direct question, you allow the candidate to show you some insight into how he or she handles calculated risks in a job setting. An indicator of a stellar candidate includes someone who is willing to take some risks and take action in order to get ahead in life. Businesses that have successful people are very often those who have employees who lead active lifestyles and have somewhat risky attitudes about work.

Remember, to limit the use of non-traditional interview questions to only those that fall under legal hiring guidelines and protected class statuses. If you need more advice and support with your interviewing processes, be sure to check out the employer resource section on Advance Staffing Solutions today!




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