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The Truth About Asking Weird Interview Questions

Posted by Natalie Pike on July 17, 2015

One of the hottest hiring trends over the past couple years has been using unique, bizarre, and weird interview questions. The startup world and the "fun" company culture is all the rage and companies feel that these types of questions imitate the culture millennial job-seekers desire. Some common examples of these questions are:

  • If you had to get rid of one US state, which would it be?
  • If you were a sports car, what color would you be? 
  • A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

Job_searchHuh? I hate to break it to you, but the truth is, these types of questions aren't going to find you the quality employees your business needs. The problem with this trend lies with hiring managers who are quickly learning that interesting interview questions are the “easy” way out of developing interview guides and using researched behavioral interview questions. This trend is teaching hiring managers that they can ask mind-boggling questions and somehow come away with top talent. Not true!

According to Ben Eubanks, Co-Founder of UpStartHR, "Weird Interview Questions are a Fad, Not a Strategy."

Here are some reasons why bizarre interview questions don't work.

4 Reasons Why Weird Interview Questions Don't Work

1. They don’t elicit useful information

2. They alienate most candidates

3. It wastes valuable time when you could be asking about their previous experience

4. Candidates are already nervous - why put them on the spot with something they aren’t prepared for?

Don't worry! I'm not saying you can't ask a single question that's a little "out there." There are two weird interview questions that are Hireology-approved. 

Weird Interview Questions That Do Work

1. On an airplane or long bus ride, what would we find you doing?

Depending on the role you're hiring for, this question can show important personality traits of your candidate. Say you're hiring for a Communications Specialist or a Sales Manager. An answer you'd want to hear would be something alone the lines of them starting up a conversation with the person next to them. 

2. What is the biggest misperception people have of you?

And there you have it, Hireology CEO Adam Robinson's, favorite interview question of all time. This interview question will give the you a sense of the candidate’s self-awareness and you’ll learn something about the candidate that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

All in all, you are going to ask the questions you want to ask, but if you care about the team you are trying to build and if you want your business to thrive, think about the questions you're asking and ask yourself, " is this going to help me hire the right person for the job?" 

This is just a sneak peek of the 13-page eBook we wrote all about bizarre interview questions. Get the full version for free by clicking the banner below!

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Natalie Pike

About the Author

Natalie is Hireology's Inbound Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite topics to write about are how to hire millennials, building a strong company culture, and employee engagement. She is a Purdue University graduate (Boiler up!), social media junkie and avid iced coffee drinker.