Hiring the best candidate for the job has never been more important than it is today. As an interviewer, you are a key gatekeeper in discovering who is and who isn’t a good fit for your company. While the technical questions are important, they often don’t provide enough information about the new candidate to make a confident hiring decision. Given that job candidates are well versed in answering traditional interview questions, here are a few nontraditional questions that can help you get to the root of the issue.

How have you failed in a previous role? What conflicts have you dealt with before?

Behavioral interview questions are as important as technical question to assess the candidate’s overall fit for a job. Commonly used behavioral and situational questions provide valuable insight into a candidate’s soft skills such as teamwork, risk averseness, and leadership. Such questions include asking the candidate to describe how they developed relationships with others when they were on their most recent job, how they work with various co-workers or managers with different communication styles, and asking them about their pet peeves on the job.

What is the most creative or innovative thing you’ve ever done?

Open ended questions are a great way to find out what the candidate is genuinely interested in and therefore likely to devote the most time to. Some such questions include asking the candidate to describe a project that demonstrates teamwork and collaboration. Another example could be to ask the candidate to describe a situation which demonstrates taking risk in their career. It’s often useful to ask the candidate to describe a project they were a part of which didn’t go as planned or perhaps failed. Usually these questions will get potential candidates to describe the projects they have worked on. Their answer will tell a hiring manage valuable information about the candidates’ experience, as well as insight into how they interpret teamwork and collaboration which are foundational for success in most organizations.

What are the first three things you do at work in the morning?

This question helps interviewers learn more about the realities of an employee as they take on the challenges of the day. So much of the workday requires planning and prioritizing that what a candidate does first thing in the morning at work is actually very important. The best candidates will generally respond by explaining the use of a calendar system to stay on top of tasks, or describe how they prioritize their “to-do” list.

Why do you want to work for us?

Given how important an employee’s motivations are, it’s surprising this question isn’t asked outright more often. Many interviewees still need to take a minute to craft their response, and that pause can help them access their true feelings on the matter. Have they been looking for a new job for a while and are getting worried about making ends meet? Are they feeling unappreciated at their current job? Are they just ready and eager to take that leap into the next challenge? Whatever their motivation is, it should align with who you expect them to be on the job. Take it into account when evaluating their role in the bigger picture of your workforce.

For more tips on how to hire the best talent in the industry, contact the team at Verum Technical today.