Quirky Questions to Ask Job Applicants

Quirky Questions to Ask Job Applicants

In the past, we’ve written a lot about the labor shortage, how to make your website a better recruiting tool, and at the end of the day, how you can hire the right people. But what are some ways to get a better look at the person you’re hiring, the way he/she thinks, and would integrate into your existing team dynamic? A recent piece from the Hubspot blog showcased the creative questions top businesses use to test and get to know interviewees in a fun and eye-opening way.

Most jobs will ask standard questions within their interviews. For example, more about the interviewee’s past experience, what interests the individual in working for the company, what has been the biggest challenge he/she has overcome in the workplace, etc. But asking some out of the box questions can help you shift from the typical interview to a more fun and personable one. Having some laughs in the process could open the interviewee up to a more comfortable level, instead of having the ultra formal atmosphere commonly set up in a job interview.

Here are five unique questions from Hubspot’s extensive list, that we thought were a great way to really get to know the potential hire.

“What do you think of garden gnomes?”

This seems like a completely outrageous question to ask, but it’s bound to get a bit of a laugh. Trader Joe’s is known for using it as a great way to see how the person would fit into their team dynamic and the overall culture of the business. The example Hubspot uses is that if you have a team that has sarcastic humor and the person says something along the lines of, “If I could get a job as one then I probably wouldn’t be here today talking to you,” then you know that the individual’s humor will probably be a good fit!

“Are you a hunter or a gatherer?”

This question provides better insight into what kind of role the individual may take on at your dealership. You’ll want to think about the specific role the person is applying for and see if his/her response to this question matches up with the skills required from the role. For example, say you’re hiring someone for a marketing-related role. If he/she says, “I’m a gatherer. I like to consult with the team to get their input into a product or service in order to make more informed decisions about the direction we should take in marketing it.” This type of answer would hit the nail on the head for someone entering the role!

“If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose?”

Asking a question like this, particularly for a leadership role, is a telling one. Did you know that according to Forbes, 72% of surveyed leaders choose the ability to fly over being invisible. So if you’re looking for someone to confidently lead a team of people it may be a good indicator of how the person would take on the role. It’s basically an alternate way of asking “Do you prefer to be in the spotlight or behind the scenes?”

“You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?”

This is a true on-the-spot question. It allows interviewers to not only see how the potential hire would handle a curveball like this one, but also allows you to get a glance into the interviewee’s reasoning skills. There’s no right answer, but being able to see how the person thinks, prioritizes, and problem-solves is invaluable. Don’t focus as much on the answer itself for this one, but the reasoning behind why the interviewee gave the answer.

“What was the last gift you gave someone?”

This question should give you an idea of the candidate’s personality more so than work ethic. It gives you a chance to see at the core what kind of individual he/she is. The other element of asking this question is that it helps you connect with the individual and get to know him/her in a different light. The example Hubspot gave is that if someone says, “My brother loves baseball, so a couple weeks ago I bought him tickets to a Red Sox game,” you now have a detail that can help you connect to him/her and create a more comfortable environment.

While these questions may seem initially outrageous, they can be really quite revealing. The biggest takeaway is that you’ll see how someone is able to react under pressure and see a different side to him/her than most standard interview questions would extract. The ability to think on his/her feet will be a true asset to your team, so consider how you could work some of these questions into your interview process.

Want to see some of the other creative questions top companies are using for their interviews? Just check out the rest of the Hubspot piece here.


Kelsey Fritz
Kelsey is the Marketing Coordinator at Commercial Web Services where she monitors the latest marketing advancements to better educate dealers on marketing trends that can further their business goals.

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