The New Interview Questions: Are You Ready?

Thoughtful interviewers increasingly are asking more questions that ask the candidate to reveal more of themselves and less about the resume or qualifications. They primarily are looking for alignment with the organization’s culture when they ask these. Here are five such questions that asks the candidate to share more of their values and working style:

  1. Describe your best day at work. What were you doing on that day?  Hint: show passion, self-awareness, flow
  2. What was your most significant technical accomplishment? Hint: show technical prowess regardless of whether the job is technical
  3. Why shouldn’t I hire you?  Hint: self-awareness, humility and how you supplement your weaknesses or grow from feedback
  4. How did you prepare for this interview? Hint: Show depth of understanding of the company and not a cursory Google search
  5. What other questions do you have for me?  Hint: ask big picture long-term oriented questions. Here are three great ones.

Employers are asking more innovative questions too these days to loosen up candidates in interviews and to assess their more authentic self. Here are a few and the source that reports these questions (thanks to Fast Company for the information):

  1. How would you value the store on the corner? (Vault)
  2. How many square feet of pizza is eaten in the U.S. each year? (Glassdoor)
  3. Describe the color yellow to somebody who is blind. (Glassdoor)
  4. If you were to get rid of one state in the U.S., which would it be and why? (Glassdoor)
  5. You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant? (FlexJobs)
  6. Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman? (Glassdoor)
  7. How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do? (FlexJobs)
  8. A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? (Glassdoor)
  9. What inspires you? (Vault)
  10. Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes. (Quora)
  11. What are you known for? (Quora)
  12. What do you work toward in your free time? (Quora)
  13. What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone? (Vault)
  14. How would you rate your memory? (Glassdoor)
  15. Code something from scratch in three hours. Then explain your design and solution. (Quora)
  16. If you woke up and had 2,000 unread emails and could only answer 300 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer? (Glassdoor)
  17. How many pennies would fit into this room? (Vault)
  18. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday? (Quora)
  19. Estimate how many windows are in New York. (Glassdoor)
  20. What were you like in high school? (Quora)
  21. What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it? (FlexJobs)
  22. Any advice for your previous boss? (Quora)
  23. Tell me something about your last job, other than money, that would have inspired you to keep working there. (Quora)
  24. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently? (Glassdoor)
  25. What do you want to be when you grow up? (FlexJobs)
  26. Which two organizations outside your own do you know the most people at and why? (Quora)
  27. Pretend you’re our CEO. What three concerns about the firm’s future keep you up at night? (Vault)
  28. If I were to hire you for this job and I granted you three promises with regard to working here, what would they be? (Quora)
  29. If you don’t get this job, what’s your backup plan? (Quora)
  30. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? (Glassdoor)
  31. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why? (Glassdoor)
  32. We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do? (Quora)
  33. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car? (Glassdoor)
  34. What’s your favorite ’90s jam? (Glassdoor)
  35. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? (Quora)
  36. What was the last gift you gave someone? (Glassdoor)
  37. What were you like in high school? (Quora)

Also, check out these interview questions that are tricky and how best to answer them.


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