63 interesting interview questions to ask skilled experts

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During the hiring process, you always need to assess your applicants’ skills and traits before you hire them. During candidate interviews, you should ask multiple questions that elicit responses from candidates that you can review. 

Keeping your interviewees engaged improves the candidate experience and raises applicants’ enthusiasm for the role, which is why interesting interview questions are key.

So, to learn about your candidates, you can complete two steps: complete skill testing with Personality and Culture tests and conduct interviews by asking interesting interview questions.

However, finding interesting interview questions can be a challenge and time-consuming. Where can you find suitable questions to ask your candidates?

In this article, we have included 63 interesting interview questions you can ask your applicants to keep the conversation flowing and learn about their abilities. Include a selection of these questions in your hiring process to evaluate and hire a skilled professional.

36 frequently asked interesting interview questions to ask applicants

Ask interviewees some of these 36 frequently asked interesting interview questions to learn about their traits and abilities.

1. Can you teach me something new within three minutes?

2. Which projects do you work on in your free time?

3. Explain whether you reached your full potential in your current role.

4. Name one activity that you’re an expert at.

5. What makes you unique compared with other applicants?

6. Have you ever handled a situation with the wrong strategy? What did you learn?

7. Which animal best matches your abilities?

8. What are the factors that increase your productivity?

9. Name your best three skills.

10. What is your immediate reaction when a manager criticizes your work?

11. Who would you say is your best mentor or role model?

12. Have you ever felt impatient at work? Describe the situation and how you handled it.

13. Which three negative personal qualities would a friend say you possess?

14. Can you tell us three factors that make your perfect day?

15. Would you prefer to work with many coworkers or contribute as an individual?

16. Can you tell us your preferred work schedule?

17. Would you rather make money from your work or by winning the lottery?

18. What would you want to gain from working with us?

19. Could you explain why you chose this career path?

20. Which goals would you set for yourself if you got this job?

21. Which would you choose if you could eliminate one duty from your schedule?

22. Name your best personal attribute that helps you complete your work.

23. Describe the kind of work environment you prefer.

24. You’re assigned multiple projects in a limited time. How do you handle them?

25. Name a time you worked with a new team. How did you collaborate?

26. Name two items you would take with you to a deserted island.

27. Tell me about the last gift you gave to someone.

28. Have you ever had to persuade someone to consider your point of view?

29. Name one famous person you would like to meet. Explain why.

30. What is your ideal workplace communication method?

31. Where would you go if you could take a journey to a country you haven’t visited?

32. If you could acquire a new skill in an instant, what would you choose to learn? 

33. How would you pitch me my business?

34. How would you rate your communication skills?

35. Would you still enjoy the job if the structure of your team changed?

36. You have the option to master a spoken language in two days. Which language do you choose?

5 interesting interview questions and sample answers

Refer to the sample answers to these five frequently asked interesting interview questions to assess your applicants’ responses.

1. Which projects do you work on in your free time?

As you discuss your candidates’ hobbies and projects, they may reveal more about their personality traits and transferrable work skills. It’s also worth asking this question because some projects might relate to your applicant’s field of work. 

For example, software engineering managers may work on other software engineering projects in their free time, while content writers often write blogs about topics they find interesting.

Ask applicants follow-up questions, such as, “Do you find your projects rewarding?” to test their commitment and enthusiasm for their projects. This method will also help you learn more about their values and passions.

2. What would you want to gain from working with us?

This question helps you find out which factors motivated your applicants to apply for your role. Since 51% of millennials want to learn new skills, some candidates will look forward to training opportunities, and others may want to take on new responsibilities. 

Consider if your company can offer those opportunities to your candidate and if their goals match your organization.

3. Name a time you worked with a new team. How did you collaborate?

When working with a new team, candidates will receive a lot of new information. Working well requires effective collaboration to ensure new employees contribute to completing projects quickly and accurately from the moment they join the team. Some candidates will use communication or project management tools to achieve this goal, while others will collaborate face-to-face with team members.

To learn more about these skills, it’s worth asking applicants to complete a Communication skill test to assess how they work with others and if they have active listening skills.

4. Would you rather make money from your own work or by winning the lottery?

Candidates passionate about their field will emphasize that completing their projects is more satisfying than winning the lottery to make money. If your candidate gives a short answer to this question, you can probe further with questions such as, “Which specific responsibilities do you think are rewarding?”

5. What is your immediate reaction when a manager criticizes your work?

Candidates must learn from feedback and handle it well – this will help them enhance the quality of their work. The key to assessing answers is checking if your candidates understand the five steps when responding to constructive criticism. These steps include:

  • Listening to the feedback

  • Taking some time to understand the comments

  • Using self-affirmations to avoid feeling negative 

  • Asking for more information to learn why the feedback is important

  • Creating a plan to start making changes

Be wary of applicants who react negatively to feedback, as they may not feel motivated to improve their work if they receive constructive criticism.

17 interesting interview questions for managers and leaders

Ask your interviewees some of these 17 interesting interview questions for managerial and leadership candidates to evaluate their suitability for an open role.

1. Someone gives you millions of dollars to solve a global problem. What do you solve?

2. Which values do you think are most important for a company?

3. You encounter a difficult situation at work. How would you manage it?

4. Describe some of your leadership characteristics.

5. What innovative ideas would you develop for this industry if you had the resources?

6. Why do you aim to become our organization’s manager or team leader?

7. You have to interview me for my role. Which factors would you want to know?

8. Name the type of work that excites and motivates you on Mondays.

9. Have you ever had the responsibility to fire an employee?

10. Describe a situation when you led by example.

11. Are there any task delegation methods you use to achieve the best output?

12. Which qualities should an experienced manager have?

13. What will our industry be like in 15 years?

14. Which method would you use to handle a large workload with a staff shortage?

15. Which unique tools do you use to lead a team?

16. Describe one similarity between coaches and team leaders.

17. How would you rate your motivation?

5 interesting interview questions and answers for managers and leaders

Check the sample answers to these five interesting interview questions for managers and leaders to evaluate their responses after the interview.

1. Name the type of work that excites and motivates you on Mondays.

This interesting interview question will help you check if the work you offer your candidate will motivate them on Monday mornings. The best candidate responses will match the similar duties that you offer.

For example, if you offer applicants security issue work related to software development, you should look for responses that mention cybersecurity. If you provide SEO work, you should listen for responses that mention marketing and keyword research.

Don’t forget to ask why these types of work motivate your candidates and listen for responses in which candidates explain the positive outcomes of their work.

2. Which qualities should an experienced manager have?

Most managers have specific traits or qualities that help them complete their daily duties. Not every applicant will have the same characteristics, but it’s worth asking this question to learn if your candidates’ qualities match your company’s values and expectations. The top three attributes of successful managers include:

  • To be an advocate for your team

  • To be innovative and understand digital tools

  • To build team resilience

One easy way to assess your applicants’ qualities is with a Big 5 (OCEAN) Personality test. This test enables candidates to complete a self-evaluation of their traits and behavior and provides accurate data that best describes their personality.

3. Which unique tools do you use to lead a team?

This interview question helps you focus on your applicant’s technology and software knowledge and how it relates to effective team management. Of course, leadership tools can help managers in different ways when they lead a team, so you should expect candidates to explain what they use and how they make their work easier.

For instance, leaders might use communication tools to make interdepartmental communication easier. Or, if they want to facilitate project management, they may use project-management tools.

Ensure your applicants can demonstrate their experience using these tools and explain why they are essential.

4. Describe one similarity between coaches and team leaders.

A manager should understand the similarities between coaches and team leaders and be able to provide examples of similar duties. Some examples include:

  • Setting goals with team members to help them improve

  • Gaining a team’s commitment 

  • Driving team performance and helping them become more productive

Top answers may also briefly mention that despite these similarities, these roles have some differences. Although a team leader creates the vision and goals for the team, coaches are more focused on increasing an employee’s motivation.

5. How would you rate your motivation?

As managers must lead a team and inspire team members to work, they must be highly motivated. It is a crucial trait that is often under-used, but it can help them:

  • Ensure team members maintain their enthusiasm for difficult tasks

  • Make sure their team focuses on learning new skills

  • Provide support to their team when completing new projects

Although 80% of business managers think they can motivate others, assessing their motivation is still important. Using our Motivation skill test is the ideal method to evaluate your candidates’ passion and drive.

10 interesting interview questions to ask experts during a phone screening

Ask applicants some of these 10 interesting interview questions during a phone screening to test if they are a good match for your team and company.

1. Explain what you know about our company.

2. What does hard work mean to you? How do you measure hard work?

3. How do you balance socializing in the workplace with productivity?

4. Have you ever participated in a unique company event?

5. Which professional achievements are you most proud of?

6. How would your current employer rate your time-management skills?

7. How would you rate your project-management skills?

8. How would your team rate your attention to detail?

9. How advanced are your Microsoft Office skills?

10. Describe a typical day at your current job.

5 interesting interview questions and answers for phone screening processes

Here are five sample answers to the interesting interview questions for phone screening processes. You can refer to them when you assess you review your applicants’ responses.

1. How would you rate your project-management skills?

Whether you’re hiring a team leader or a team member, you should check your candidates’ abilities to estimate, manage, and deliver project work on time, as punctuality can enhance the business-client relationship. Top applicants will have excellent project-management skills and prove their abilities with an example from a recent role.

For example, your candidate might estimate project completion times accurately and manage tasks efficiently when they develop innovative applications or software.

One of the ideal methods you can use to assess your applicants’ project-management skills is to use our Project Management test. It will help you judge whether candidates can effectively handle projects and achieve business goals.

2. How would your team rate your attention to detail?

Attention to detail is an essential skill that can help employees to:

  • Deliver high-quality work

  • Avoid errors or mistakes

  • Understand instructions and focus on task requirements

Since attention to detail has several advantages in the workplace, it’s important to check whether your applicants can show it has enhanced their work.

For example, an editor will use attention to detail to improve an article’s grammar and flow, making it easier for the audience to understand its meaning.

The fastest way to assess your applicants’ attention to detail is with our Attention to Detail test. Use this test to learn if candidates can filter information, compare statements, and check data for consistency.

3. How advanced are your Microsoft Office skills?

Proficiency in Microsoft Office can increase a candidate’s employability, as this skill can increase productivity for many roles. Candidates with this skill will be able to:

  • Monitor and manage Excel spreadsheets

  • Create documents in Microsoft Word

  • Communicate with team members with Outlook

  • Create presentations in PowerPoint 

To hire an expert, consider if your applicants can explain why this range of skills is important for your specific role and can talk about their experience with this software.

If you need to assess their knowledge of Microsoft Windows, you can use our Microsoft Windows test.

4. Explain what you know about our company.

This interview question will help you learn whether your candidates have prepared for the interview. Responses should show they were eager to learn about your company and mention whether its mission matches its goals, values, and expectations. 

71% of applicants research organizations before they apply, so you can expect the strongest applicants to know about your company’s mission and vision.

You can give them more information about your business during the interview after your applicant responds to this question, but it’s a good idea to ask them if they have researched your company.

5. How would your current employer rate your time-management skills?

Time management helps employees produce high-quality work. It’s essential for meeting deadlines, satisfying clients, and aiding employees’ productivity. Therefore, candidates should have good time-management skills and be able to show how it has helped them be more efficient.

You can use our Time Management test to evaluate your applicant’s skills quickly and accurately. It evaluates whether your candidates can prioritize, plan, execute, and reflect on projects and tasks.

When should you use interesting interview questions during the hiring process?

Our team at TestGorilla recommends that skills testing should be your priority before you interview applicants. Therefore, after a candidate responds to your job advert, ensure you ask them to complete a skill assessment and then use interesting interview questions.

Using this method means you can remove applicants early if their values, attitudes, and skills don’t match your company. It also means you can make a faster decision to reduce your time-to-hire metrics.

For example, say you have two candidates that have similar skills. In that case, you can look closely at the results of each skill test for a more detailed candidate comparison that will inform who you choose to interview. Your decision will be bias-free and you can be confident about always finding the best candidate.

Hire suitable candidates with interesting interview questions and skill tests

Interesting interview questions are the best option to complete an engaging interview with your applicants and learn about their passion for your role. Remember to incorporate skills testing in your hiring process first and then use our list of interesting interview questions to help you hire the right candidate for the open role.

Do you need more information about our tests, assessments, and custom questions? It’s all available on the TestGorilla website. Try our tests for free, check our platform for more information, and commit to a smoother hiring process.

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