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Whether you are a seasoned interviewer or new to hiring, you want to ensure that you know the best questions to ask an interviewee in their hiring interview. If you know good questions to ask in an interview, you’ll keep the interview on track and avoid bias and discrimination, but you can also take this a step further. Understanding how to add unique interview questions (answers will also be unique) can take your interviews to the next level. So what are some sample interview questions and answers that can help you achieve this?
Let’s start at the beginning. WHY ask unique questions in a job interview? Asking unique questions in a job interview can be an effective way to assess the qualifications and skills of a prospective employee. By posing challenging questions, employers can gain insight into the mindset and thought processes of applicants, as well as their ability to think on their feet. Plus, asking unique questions can give candidates the opportunity to share things that they may not otherwise feel compelled to share if they were in a more rigid interview environment. This type of questioning also allows employers to see how candidates respond to unexpected or unfamiliar scenarios.
When hiring a new team member, it's important to ask questions that can help you get to know the candidate and understand what they bring to the table. Here are some creative interview questions that can be used to give potential job candidates an opportunity to showcase their skills and provide insight into their personality:
- What do you think sets you apart from other applicants?
- Tell me about a time when you had to think outside the box.
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
- Describe a difficult problem you solved and how you went about solving it.
- What do you do to stay organized and productive in your work?
- Have you ever come up with a creative solution to a problem that no one else thought of?
- What have you learned from a mistake you’ve made in the past?
- Can you tell me about a project or initiative that you started and completed independently?
- Describe how you handled a situation where someone disagreed with your work.
- What did you learn from your last job that you can bring to this one?
- How do you stay up to date on industry trends and changes?
- What would an ideal work environment look like to you?
- Describe a time when you had to work with minimal resources. How did you handle it?
- Tell me about a project that you’re really proud of.
These questions are a jumping off point. Reviewing these could help you get some new ideas for how you might want to handle future interviews. Unique questions allow candidates to open up more and differently than the very rigid questions of ordinary interviews usually allow for, giving them the opportunity to really showcase they skills and qualifications for the position. Consider carefully the information you most want from your candidates and then craft creative questions that can provide them with the opportunity to share that.
Behavioral questions are a unique subset of questions that can be asked in an interview to help hiring managers gather more insight into who the candidate is and how they respond to workplace situations. These questions are most often strategic interview questions to ask candidates as the interviewers have an agenda when asking them. Earlier, we listed out some unique questions to ask interviewees. Still unique, here are some behavioral questions to ask your candidates:
1. Describe a situation where you had to come up with a creative solution to solve a problem.
2. Tell me about your experience working with teams in the past. How did you adapt to different personalities and work styles?
3. What do you think makes our brand unique?
4. Give an example of how you've successfully managed a difficult customer situation.
5. How do you stay organized and prioritize tasks when faced with competing deadlines?
6. Describe a time when you had to break the rules to get the job done.
7. What is your approach to handling feedback and criticism?
8. Tell me about a time you failed at something - what did you learn from that experience?
9. How do you stay ahead of trends in our industry and keep up with best practices?
10. Tell me about a time when you had to step out of your comfort zone. What did you take away from this experience?
As you can see, these questions are similar to the kinds of questions listed above, but require a bit more digging in on the part of the interviewee. When a candidate hears a question that requires them to consider a specific experience and tell a story about it, they have to dig deep into their work history and provide information that supports who they are as a worker. This can be a difficult task, but how they perform it gives the interviewer additional insight into how the candidate thinks on their feet, how they perform in the workplace, what behavior they consider to be important enough to be worth mentioning, and more.
Asking behavioral questions during the interview process can be extremely helpful when trying to get a better understanding of how well a candidate will fit in with your team and company culture. Behavioral questions allow employers to gain insight into how candidates think, react and work under pressure, as well as what their motivations are. This type of questioning also helps employers understand more about the candidate's past experiences and how they might apply to the job in question. By gaining a better understanding of a candidate's skills, employers can make sure that they are making well-informed decisions when it comes to hiring. Asking the right questions will also help employers create a team where everyone is motivated and working towards achieving the same goals.
Behavioral questions may also be preferred by candidates over questions about their education and background. These kinds of questions allow candidates to show you who they are and what they do rather than what qualifies them to do it. Many candidates believe that their work speaks for itself, so asking them to comment on their actions in the workplace allows them to lead with their best.
Choosing which questions to ask in an interview can be a complicated process, especially when there are so many different question types that can be asked. Unique questions and behavioral questions are just some of the types. You may also want to consider technical interview questions to ask a client based on their knowledge of technical systems that will be used in the position to ensure that they know what they are doing. Many job interviewers are also concerned with asking questions that are correct to avoid bias and discrimination (even accidental) in their job interviews. This is evidenced by the high search volume of the term “smart questions to ask in an interview.” Interviewers are striving to do the right thing by their candidates. You can take this a step further by researching iother interviewing trends and ensuring that you are adhering to best practices in your interviews
If you’re considering how to do right by your candidates, you have likely searched for the latest trends in hiring and interviewing, perhaps by searching for the best interview questions to ask candidates in 2023. It is important to ensure that the interview questions used when interviewing a candidate are designed to fairly and accurately assess their qualifications for the role. In 2023, employers should take extra care to avoid bias and discrimination when crafting their interview questions and ensure that you are judging your candidates on the basis of what they can do above all else. Here are some of the best interview questions to ask in order to achieve this goal:
1. What skills do you have that will help you succeed in this role? (This puts the question on the shoulders of the candidate and gives them the opportunity to advocate for themselves.)
2. What do you think sets you apart from other candidates for this position? (Again, the candidate can express their own qualifications.)
3. How do you handle competing priorities and deadlines? (This question gives your candidate the opportunity to express how they work and gives you some insight into their thought processes behind deadline-driven work.)
4. What challenges have you faced in the past that are similar to those you might face in this position? (This is a thought-provoking question that allows candidates to show who they are and how they work.)
5. Can you tell us about a project or problem that you solved with creativity? (This is a rather open-ended question and how the candidate addresses it gives you the opportunity to understand more about their thought processes and motivations.)
No matter what kind of role you are trying to fill with your interview, asking the right questions is the key to finding the right person for the position. When interviewing candidates, it's important to craft an effective set of questions that help you determine if they would be a good fit for the role. Questions should be tailored to the job and should focus on their skills, experience, and personality traits. When asking the questions, you should strive to create an environment that fosters open dialogue and encourages honest answers. Asking good questions will help you better understand a candidate's capabilities and strengths, allowing you to make more informed decisions. With the right approach, you can easily create a successful interview process and identify the best candidates for the job.