According to The Job Network, the following questions are deemed the most challenging questions seen at an interview this past year. Whether or not all of these questions would work for you and your company, it can be helpful to see what others in the field are doing and asking.
- How much would you charge to wash all the windows in Seattle?
The beauty of this question is that the answer is virtually unknown to the majority of people. Is the applicant ready for out-of-the-box thinking? How well do they react on their feet?
What to look for:
The impressive applicant will follow up with more questions. Is the position hourly? Are you able to hire others to help or is this a solo-task?
- Explain a database to your eight-year-old nephew.
Used frequently by Google, this question tests the communication levels of future hires. While companies desire applicants who are qualified in the related field, they’re also deeply interested in hiring people who can explain what they do in a clear and simple manner.
How to use this:
If you work with clients on a regular basis, imagine how the applicant would communicate with your base.
- What did you have for breakfast?
This question tends to reveal a lot about an applicant’s personality. It also catches an applicant off guard. Interviewers look for honesty and a bit of humor. It’s critical that the hire fits in well with the culture and that culture fits well for the applicant.
How to weave it in:
Save this for later in the interview to help loosen up a nervous applicant. Questions that are unrelated to the job at hand help humanize the process, and you.
- Describe the color yellow to someone who is blind?
If you’re working in any sort of creative field, this question can test the innovative tendencies of your hires. Because there’s no right or wrong answer, you’ll be assessing the applicant’s communication style, insightfulness, even sensitivity.
- If you sat down at your desk and found 1,000 emails in your inbox but you could answer only 300 of them, how would you choose?
Time management lies at the heart of this question. All employers seek to fill their staff with hires who are able to prioritize what must get done today; and what can be done tomorrow.
The winning answer:
Look for answers that cater to responding to emails that are high-priority, meaning anything from top clients, your boss, etc.
What may sound concerning:
The employee who starts at the bottom and works his way up. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, the employee may miss time sensitive information in lieu of completing the task in a traditional manner.
- Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with your manager. How was it resolved?
This question really asks: how well do you work with others? Are you able to take orders, criticism, and/or help from a supervisor? More importantly, are you able to let go of the past?
The winning applicant will keep her cool and refrain from badmouthing a former boss.
What questions do you use in your interview sessions? Have you shifted your approach in the last few years to find the best applicants?