“Cats or Dogs?” 4 Types of Interview Questions That Aren’t as Clever as You Think

November 2nd, 2021

There are many different types of job interview questions you can ask candidates. They tend to fall into one of three categories – informational, behavioural, or situational. But there is also another category of questions some people ask. They fall into the weird or odd-ball category. These are questions that tend to come out of left field. They are questions meant to catch candidates off guard and make them think on their feet. While many interviewers think they are a clever way to see how a candidate reacts, some offer very little value to you as an interviewer.

interview questions you should reconsider

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Types of Unique Job Interview Questions

These odd-ball interview questions typically fall into these categories:

  • One or the other: You propose a question that forces the candidate to choose one option or the other. You get into their personality and character.
  • Imagine…: You propose a hypothetical scenario and then ask the candidate about how they would deal with it – what steps would they take?
  • Ethical dilemmas: You ask a question that puts a candidate’s ethics and morals to the test. You want to see how the candidate will respond in these situations.
  • Brain teasers: You ask logic-based questions to see how the candidate reacts. You get a glimpse of their thought process.

Examples of Job Interview Questions You Can Probably Cut From Your List

Here are some examples of types of job interview questions that typically come off as weird instead of clever.

  • One or the other: Do you prefer cats or dogs? If you had to choose, would you rather be hot all the time or cold all the time?
  • Imagine questions: How would you move Mount Everest to Toronto?
  • Ethical dilemmas: If you could commit one crime and get away with it, what would it be?
  • Brain teasers: How many pens could you find in this office?

You can cut these types of questions out of your list and focus on other questions that provide you with more relevant and insightful information about the candidate.

Why Cut These Types of Questions?

A job interview is your opportunity to learn as much as possible about a candidate in a short period of time. You need to maximize this time. Before asking these types of questions, consider the following:

  • Does the question teach you something about the candidate?
  • Is there a better question you could ask?
  • What insights will you gain from asking the question?

Focus your efforts on asking the best questions possible so you can make a more informed hiring decision.

Get More Tips for Conducting Job Interviews on Our Recruiter Blog

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

 

Jack Kalb

Jack Kalb is a Recruitment Consultant as part of the Accounting & Finance team, specializing in placing talent with mid-sized public accounting firms.

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