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Creative interview questions and what they reveal

Here are some questions used by successful career women

Go to the many guide books on interview techniques and some really weird and odd-bod questions can be found to test the candidate’s quick-wittedness, critical approaches or salesmanship.

These questions may not be best for uncovering the candidate’s real personality, values, capabilities or fit for a particular role or team. This does not mean that the interview questions cannot be creative.

1. If money were off the table, what would motivate you to do this job?

The founder of the Six Degrees Society, Emily Merrell, explains that this question helps to determine what drives the candidate to be part of the organisation.

2. How best do you communicate with your manager?

The co-founder and chief executive officer of career site The Muse, Kathryn Minshew, asks candidates about their communication style. This can mean anything from identifying your manager’s goals and anticipating his or her needs in light of these goals to having the confidence to speak up and make sure your talents are being best utilised. It also includes maximising your time with your manager and meeting deadlines and appointments.

3. What excites you about the role?

This question is favoured by Jaime Petkanics, the founder of job search consultancy The Prepary. The question, she says, enables her to determine whether a candidate has done any preparatory work beforehand and whether they know what the role entails. It provides a platform for the start of an interesting conversation and may lead to discussion about previous roles and strengths that might be useful for the job advertised.

4. What will you bring to the company that’s different?

Kim Mullaney, the executive vice-president and chief HR officer of job search site Monster, says this question has multiple reasons behind it. The candidate’s answer will tell her whether the candidate has researched the company and whether they are specifically interested in Monster. She argues that you can’t do things differently if you don’t know what exists currently.

The question also pinpoints whether the candidate will be a good choice for the organisation. As the company is constantly changing, it constantly seeks individuals who are not frightened to speak up and suggest new ideas.

5. What is the most recent thing you’ve learned professionally?

Alyssa Gelbard, the founder of Resume Strategists, takes a slightly different approach and likes to find out whether the candidate in front of her takes opportunities to learn new things to become more effective. As a manager, she says, it is important to identify like-minded people who are adaptable, intellectually curious and seek out opportunities to learn.

This is an insight into the minds of successful business women seeking out the best talent for their organisations. Interviews need never be boring or predictable again.

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