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Most candidates come prepared to an interview, ready to answer the usual questions, like “why do you want this job?” or “what are your biggest strengths?” That’s why it’s important for HR professionals and hiring managers to mix it up with unexpected questions to help them get a real sense of the person they’re interviewing.
In fact, this is a tried and true method that most top employers use. Here are some of the most unique interview questions our headhunters ask.
“It always throws people. They can’t believe I’m going that far back and it sets them up to realize the level of detail I’m going to be going into.
It’s also a completely benign question (i.e. there is no right or wrong) and it breaks the ice, allows them to get talking and opens the flow of conversation. This isn’t a token inquiry though, I also ask if they have siblings, where they were in the birth order and what they ‘thought’ they’d do coming out of high school.”
“It really helps to show what other people think or say about them. For example, if they say ‘one misconception about me is that I’m really quiet, but I’m actually quite outgoing outside of work’, that gives us some insight into them as a culture fit for our client.”
“A tech CEO contact of mine always puts his phone on the table during the start of an interview and sees if his candidate does the same. If they do he casually asks them about their phone and phone choice, to break the ice but also as an opportunity to understand how they make decisions as well as their approach to technology. Given how closely we are all tied to our phones he believes that people’s phone selection is very representative of them in a broader sense.”
“When interviewing potential internal people, I always ask the following at the very end to try to get to know them a little better: What’s your favourite book, favourite band / entertainer, and favourite movie / television show?”
Learn more about hiring and interviewing by reading some of these blog posts from our Toronto recruiters:
IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm in Toronto. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations and Mining & Engineering. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.
Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.