Four Unique Interview Questions That Are Worthwhile

Posted November 28, 2016

Let's face it: Job applicants come into an interview knowing all the standard questions, and the answers they rehearse for these questions rarely give away hints of whether or not they'll be a good employee.

To learn as much as possible about a candidate, many companies are asking behavioral questions to figure out how a candidate might perform if given the job. They're also asking questions that probe a candidate's personality and values to see if they’ll be a cultural match.

Using the four unique questions below, you should get a much better sense of your job candidates than if you just asked the same old stock questions.

Talk about a time when something didn't go the way you had hoped it would.

Applicants may say they know the significance of being able to work well in a team setting, but that doesn't mean they really understand how to do it. This behavioral question tries to see if a person can accept responsibility, and if they have a tendency to blame others for failure.

You should be wary of a candidate who starts placing blame, trashes former employers, conveys a sense of entitlement or speaks more in terms of themselves rather than a team they were a part of. The ideal candidate accepts responsibility for falling short, says what they learned and displays an eagerness to put what they have learned to work.

What is your most noteworthy accomplishment?

This 'culture' question can open the door to a deep discussion and it can reveal specific details about the way a person thinks. Talking about a particular accomplishment can easily lead to details about their personal work habits, and how they work with others.

If an applicant cannot give particular examples of accomplishments from their past jobs and how they were achieved, they are probably not going to be an A-list employee. Furthermore, a candidate should be able to give a lot of specific details; it's a sign they are being genuine.

What things do you hate doing?

While there are exceptions, people tend to enjoy doing the things they're good at and hate doing the things they're not very good at. So, if a candidate for a quality control position tells you they hate working with numbers, it’s a sign that they might be bad at making the calculations that most QC jobs require.

It can be difficult to get an honest answer to the question, since candidates are often reluctant to say anything negative. However, asking this question a few times in several different ways can usually get results, and the answers you get are always worth the effort.

Where do you see yourself after this job?

This is another culture question that can tell you if you have a real go-getter on your hands, or someone who's content to take their professional life as it comes and focus more on the personal side of their life.

At Ambassador, we take the hard work of screening and interviewing job candidates out of the hands of our client companies. If your organization is in need of a custom talent acquisition solution, please feel free to contact us today to work with a full-service staffing agency!