Unique and Weird Interview Questions to Ask Candidates

Every company is different, so it’s only right for companies to have interview questions that are as unique as well.

Unique interview questions can test a candidate’s ability to go with the flow or fit in well with a team, but each interview question still needs to have a purpose beyond just having fun.

Before you see examples of weird and unique interview questions, lets cover how these kinds of questions are best used in the interview and how these questions should not be used.

How to Use Unique and Weird Interview Questions

Strange interview questions are a common practice in companies as large as Amazon and Tesla, but you should avoid misusing these interview questions.

When customizing and using weird and unique interview questions, always use these guidelines to protect candidates and your company.

Don’ts for Unique and Weird Interview Questions

  • Never ask questions that make your candidates feel uncomfortable.
  • Never ask questions that are inappropriate, discriminatory or reference a candidate’s protected class information (gender, race, ethnicity, age, etc.).
  • Never ask strange or silly questions unannounced or sporadically throughout the interview (this makes you look unprofessional and unorganized).

Do’s for Unique and Weird Interview Questions

  • Always try to have some fun with candidates (levity can relieve interview nerves, helping candidates perform better and reveal more fit factors in interviews).
  • Always have a purpose for the questions you are asking (breaking the ice, testing a candidate’s ability to think on their feet, revealing personal/professional interests, etc.).
  • Always evaluate candidate responses objectively against the intended purpose of the questions you ask.
  • Always tell candidates before you transition from serious interview questions to fun ones, so they can have an enjoyable interview and so you can get the right kind of answers.

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Unique and Weird Ice Breaker Questions

Ice breaker questions help candidates relax at the beginning of interviews, give them a chance to warm up their communication skills and give them a fun first impression. They can also be a good way to test for culture fit and general candidate attitudes.

Use these questions to help candidates warm up at the start of interviews and to give them a taste of your company’s culture.

  • If you were stuck on a deserted island (and had all the food, water and shelter you needed) what 3 personal items would you bring?
  • What fictional character do you identify the most with? Why them?
  • If you could go to any country (that you haven’t been to) where would you go and why?
  • If you were a superhero or supervillain, who would you be? Did you choose this character because you are like them or because you aren’t and would like to be?
  • What was the last present you got for somebody?
  • What language would you like to learn one day? Why?
  • Would you rather ride a giraffe to work or an elephant? What are the advantages and drawbacks of your preferred method of transportation?

Unique and Weird Company Culture Questions

Unconventional interview questions can help you identify fit in candidates and make your company a standout opportunity for the people you interview.

For instance, if the team you’re hiring for are all sports fans and always have a game on in the background, asking candidates about their interest in sports can be good for revealing fit. On the other hand, remember that diversity makes strong teams, and you should never pass on great hires just because they don’t like Star Wars (even if the job is at Lucas Films).

Use these questions to help you find culture fit in your candidates or to help you design unique culture questions of your own.

  • Do you come to work just to work, or do you like to socialize along the way?
  • What inspires you to work in this industry?
  • Tell me about a time when you felt like a hero at work.
  • Tell me about a time when a job or company felt like a bad fit for your personality and why.
  • Tell me about a time when you were part of a team that was fun to work with. How did you balance productivity and fun with your co-workers?
  • Tell me about the most unique company event or outing you’ve ever participated in. What made it so unique and did you have fun?

Unique and Weird Creativity Questions

Some jobs require candidates to be creative or quick on their feet, and curveball interview questions are great at revealing these qualities in candidates.

Use these questions to evaluate the creativity of candidates for roles that depend on creativity or general “outside-the-box” thinking.

  • Name 5 uses for a stapler other than stapling.
  • Do you think zombies should be slow or fast? Why?
  • If you had to organize everyone in the country into a giant game of duck duck goose, how would you do it?
  • How would you transport 10,000 sharks safely across the country in the most efficient, safe and cost effective way possible?
  • If you were given the task of rebranding this company for the _________ industry, what would the headline of the press release be?
  • How would you describe your company’s office building to a blind person?
  • Describe the purpose of this job to someone from another planet.
  • How would you pitch this company to a friend?

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Unique and Weird Reasoning Questions

Unusual logic problems can be fun for analytical jobs, but don’t use an arbitrary logic problem to choose your next hire (unless their job is writing arbitrary logic problems).

Use these questions to test the general reasoning ability of candidates, the way they solve problems and their ability to work through unusual and challenging problems.

  • How many cars are there in Los Angeles?
  • How many sandwiches are eaten in America every year?
  • You have a 3 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon bucket, how do you measure out exactly 4 gallons?
  • If you get a 25% raise at the end of your first year and now make 75,000/year, what was your starting salary?
  • You have a 50 story building and a supply of identical pairs of paper weights. When dropping these paperweights from different stories, how would you find the story from which these paper weights break while breaking the fewest number of paper weights?
  • How many combinations of 2 rolled dice will result in 6?
  • Why are manhole covers round?
  • You encounter 2 doors and 2 guards. One doors leads to doom, the other, to ice cream! One of the guards only tells the truth, the other only lies (and you don’t know who’s who). You have to choose the right door, but you can only ask 1 question of one guard. What do you ask the guard to pick the right door?

Unique and Weird Big Picture Questions

Asking unique big picture questions shows you how a candidate might relate to your company as an employer and shows you their ability to think in a big picture way.

Use these questions to show you how your candidates relate to and understand the big picture of your company.

  • If you were the CEO of our company, what would your 5 year plan be?
  • If you were interviewing me for my job, what would you want to know about me?
  • If you had an unlimited budget, what innovation would you want to create in our industry?
  • How could AI potentially change our industry?
  • What do you think our industry is going to look like in 10 years? Will it still exist?
  • If you were given 10 Million to help solve a world problem, what problem would you choose and how would you contribute to the solution?

Final thoughts: Unique and Weird Interview Questions

Diversity makes strong teams and strong companies, and using unique and weird interview questions will help reveal the uniqueness of candidates you interview.

Just be sure that the questions you’re asking are truly reflective of your company’s culture or otherwise have a specific purpose, even if that’s getting a candidate to relax before you get to tough questions.

To help you get great candidates into the interview chair who will love your unique questions, Lever Nurture helps you engage candidates at scale with automated and personalized email campaigns.

Once you’ve nurtured their interest in your company, you can secure the interest of these unique candidates with the help of these weird and unique interview questions, or use some of our other interview question samples.

Enhance your recruitment process and interviewing efforts with LeverTRM. Find out how our ATS and CRM solution can help your talent team scale hiring and streamline TA operations.

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Further reading