Interviews are a tried and tested way to find the right person for your business, however, they can become mundane, and even ineffective, if you are asking the same questions over and over. Doing this will also quickly irritate you if you end up hearing the same standard responses again and again.
Investing a bit more time – and creativity! – in choosing your questions can really liven up an interview and may give you an oppportunity to see the interviewee’s true personality.
It’s important to remember that for these type of questions, there are no right or wrong answers; you are testing the person’s ability to think on the spot and to give an answer that has hopefully not been rehearsed!
Here are our suggestions that you could try for your next staff interview. Use them to think of other creative job interview questions for your next hire.
1. If you could be a flower what would you choose, and why?
The name of the flower the person gives is almost insignificant. It is the reason why they chose that particular flower that you are interested in.
Somebody could answer with “I would be a sunflower because I develop very quickly, I like to stand out from others but I may need some support to help me do this”. This shows that they know their strengths but are not afraid to ask for help.
As a manager or business owner you must ask yourself; would this type of person be a good fit for the business?
2. How many pigeons are there in London's Trafalgar Square?
Nobody will know the answer to this question, as the number of pigeons will constantly change - and there are hundreds, maybe thousands! What you are looking for here is to firstly see if the person has listened to the question properly and secondly, to find out if they can apply lateral thinking to it. You're also looking to see if the interviewee is comfortable admitting that they don't know something, and how well they handle this.
For instance, if they answered, “It is hard to give a definite answer as the number of pigeons in Trafalgar Square will vary dependent on the time of day, season and weather conditions”, this has shown that they have thought the question through and taken into account external factors that were not originally mentioned in the question. Of course an answer of "I have absolutely no idea!" may be just as effective in that you admire their honesty and sense of humour.
3. What’s your favourite song to sing at karaoke?
Even if they have never tried karaoke, they should still be able to give you the name of their favourite song.
Asking what music somebody likes can tell you quite a lot about their personality. If they answer with the name of a rock song, this could show that they like to let loose occasionally and sing their hearts out to a big rock ballad. Or, if they name a rap song, it could be that they appreciate the rhyming of words and the creative thinking that goes into putting such a song together. As they talk about a song they like, you’ll also get an idea of what they’re like when they’re talking about something they enjoy.
4. What do you think you will not like about this job?
With this question, you are testing to see if the interviewee has listened to what you have told them about the role, and how well the interviewee feels the role is suited to them. This is also an opportunity for them to say not what they will dislike, but rather, what they feel they may need more help with.
Alternatively, they might say “From what you have told me I think I will enjoy working here. But, if there are things that I am not happy with I will discuss these with you to resolve them”. This shows the person will work at making the role their own while also keeping you informed if they have any concerns.