When Interviewing a Potential Employee, Ask Unexpected Questions

Finding the best people for your business is more important than ever. No business owner has the time to handle a poor hiring decision. The following hack can help you in your search to find the right person for the job.

A great thing to do is to ask a handful of questions candidates are unlikely to expect. This is a great way to see how they react when put on the spot. You might ask, “What’s the most surprising thing you learned when you were researching our company?” The candidate’s answer will not only reveal if he or she did research, but also give you insight into how their initial perception of your company differed from a researched perception. These kinds of questions can provide a wonderful opportunity to ask follow-up questions.

Questions that test a candidate’s curiosity can give great insight about the person. In Harvard Business Review‘s “Spotting Talent in the 21st Century,” executive search firm Egon Zehnder research found that curiosity can be the most important trait for leaders and employees. To gauge curiosity, ask questions like, “What’s the last really interesting thing you read,” “Tell me one fact you’ve heard this week that took you by surprise,” or, “What’s one non-work-related skill you’re currently working on mastering?”


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