12 Interesting Interview Questions to Ask an Applicant

Ferguson & Ferguson

Attorneys at Law

March 5th, 2021

12 Interesting Interview Questions to Ask an Applicant

How to determine if a candidate is suitable for the position or not? Of course, there are ways to find this out – all of them are well known. Traditionally, candidates are asked to talk about their work experience, accomplishments, and key skills. However, job seekers usually know the answers to these questions by heart and are always ready for them.

Luckily, to know an applicant better, the hiring manager can use less common questions. We’ve prepared 12 of them – they will certainly help acknowledge the candidate’s values and priorities.

Any recruiting process starts with reviewing an applicant’s resume. To stand out from the crowd, it has to be strong. That is why job seekers turn to professional resume writers – these specialists are experienced in illustrating career paths in a compelling way.

Why Have You Changed X Jobs in Y Years?

This question is essential to understand the professional path of job seekers. What motivates them? What is the key reason for their dismissal? What is important to them when choosing a new job and building a career?

Perhaps, some of the job seekers were upset that their potential was limited by employers and managers. Or they quickly got bored with a narrow range of responsibilities. There is nothing wrong with changing jobs – it’s the motivation that matters most.

If We Were to Sit Here a Year Later Celebrating the Company’s Accomplishments, What Would Be Your Credit?

First, the answer to this question during the job interview shows that the candidate has studied the company and its activities. It is also an indicator that the future employee is aware of their role in the company and knows what they will work on. The candidate must have a strategic vision to give a structured and clear answer; thus, the question reveals one’s potential.

When Have You Been Most Satisfied in Your Life?

This question perfectly demonstrates the life values of the candidate; it indicates what inspires them and what brings true joy. The next step is to analyze if the company’s culture, mission, and priorities are appropriate for the applicant. This question also shows when the employee will be full of energy to perform in the best possible way.

Who Is Your Role Model and Why?

This question can reveal how introspective the candidate is and how the best version of themselves looks like. The role model shows what the candidate with an outstanding resume aims at and what qualities they want to develop. It’s amazing if an ambitious candidate strives for success and improves their key skills and qualification.

What Do You Dislike Doing?

Of course, employees seldom enjoy all aspects of their work. Although not all candidates are ready to answer this question honestly, it is necessary to understand whether a person loves their job.
For example, it’s weird to hire a sales manager who hates meeting new people, a PR manager who can’t stand writing business, or a financier who doesn’t like working with papers.

What Animal Do You Associate Yourself With?

Such a tricky question has a simple purpose – the hiring manager needs to see the applicant’s reaction. Confusion, embarrassment, irritation – all these emotions definitely won’t help the candidate land a job.

The answer to this question shows:

  • whether candidates know themselves well;
  • whether they are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and can objectively assess them;
  • whether job seekers have developed creative thinking.

It’s best if the description of the beloved animal matches the characteristics of the job position. The answers can be awesome, for example:

  • “I’m a dolphin because I hate working on my own. I need my pack with me, and I’m always ready to support my companions.”
  • “I’m an owl since I can climb high to capture the whole picture. I have excellent eyesight – I can notice the smallest details.”

Tell Me Your Story

As in the previous question, the recruiter pays attention to the candidate’s reaction. An experienced hiring manager will take the speech patterns, gestures, and facial expressions of the applicant into account.
The answer itself will tell recruiters about the candidate’s imagination and way of thinking. Recruiting firms also claim that this question indicates whether job seekers can make a good impression. Of course, if a candidate crafts their reply for too long and is shy, then the position that requires a quick reaction doesn’t suit them.

Do You Have Any Questions?

The ability to ask good questions is a valuable quality. The questions show how smart the candidate is and whether their career development plan is consistent with the company’s internal structure. This approach also reveals the applicant’s ability to think outside the box and their preparedness for an interview.

Tell Us About a Time When Your Expectations Have Not Been Met or the Project Failed.

Answering this question, candidates can blame other employees for the failure, shift responsibility to them, or speak badly about the colleagues. So, if a person doesn’t draw conclusions from mistakes (both their own and those of others), they are unlikely to land a job and join the team.

What Upsets You the Most About Your Work?

This question evaluates the personal qualities of the candidate and helps understand their worldview better. The most common answers include deceit, lack of professionalism, scandals, gossip, and irresponsibility.

What Conditions Do You Work Best In?

First, with the help of this question, the recruiter tries to find out the candidate’s attitude to the job. Secondly, this is a great way to know what the applicant expects from a new workplace, team, and managers. Usually, people mention a friendly atmosphere, mutual understanding and respect, a clear statement of tasks, and so on.
Source: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/coworkers-discussing-over-computer-in-office-royalty-free-image/1124741508

What Are Your Weaknesses?

Typically, candidates try to portray their weaknesses as positive or not affecting their future job. Look at the following examples.

  • “I can’t calm down until I have done what I’ve been instructed to do.”
  • “It’s hard for me to say no, so I help my colleagues all the time.”
  • “I am too self-critical and strive for perfectionism in everything I do.”
  • “I am overly sociable.”

Final Thoughts

It is recommended to ask the candidate about their hobbies too. It’s wonderful if the applicant’s interests are related to their professional activities. For example, if a job seeker enjoys traveling, they will probably like the job that involves business trips.
Thus, a top manager can be the captain of an amateur football team in their spare time, and a designer can enjoy walking through galleries and museums after work.