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30 Unique Interview Questions To Ask Job Candidates

By Conor McMahon - May. 24, 2023
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Summary. Unique interview questions provide an insight into your candidates that can’t be accomplished from traditional interview questions.

The hiring process is filled with many traditional routines, with a standard approach to recruiting, evaluating, and hiring candidates. A lot of these approaches are used for good reason. They provide stability and structure, which saves time, energy, and money.

However, it can get very boring to do the same thing over and over again. Interviews are no exception. While still accomplishing your goal of seeking out the best fit for an open position, you should strongly consider incorporating unique interview questions into your process.

Key Takeaways

  • Unique interview questions are helpful when they are relevant and appropriate.

  • You will learn more about a candidate when you catch them off guard with a unique interview question.

  • Never ask a question that can be discriminatory or make your candidate feel uncomfortable.

Unique Icebreaker Interview Questions

Icebreaker questions are a great way to get to know each other before diving into the interview. Instead of strictly focusing on business, you show your candidate that you want to establish a personal connection. How they answer the question also helps you gauge their personality beyond their skills and experience.

  1. What is your favorite summer food?

  2. If you could turn into an animal, what would it be and why?

  3. What colors would you use to paint your life story?

  4. What would you do with a million dollars?

  5. If you had to play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Expert Advice

Unique Behavioral Questions

Behavioral questions ask candidates to discuss past experiences. Coming up with unique behavioral questions gives you the opportunity to test your potential hire’s ability to self-reflect and provide interesting insight into their character traits.

  1. Describe your biggest accomplishment at work as if it were a movie trailer.

  2. Tell me about a past experience that makes you feel confident about yourself.

  3. What was the most memorable thing you learned from your first job?

  4. Tell me about a failure you feel comfortable sharing and what did you learn from it?

  5. Give me an example of when you experienced stress at work.

Unique Situational Questions

Situational questions present candidates with hypothetical problems that they have to solve. If your situational questions are unique, then your applicant will have to come up with unique answers. This will reveal their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

  1. What would you do if you found out a coworker was taking credit for your work?

  2. How would you handle being asked to be a mentor to a new employee?

  3. What would you do if you were asked to represent this company in a news interview?

  4. If you had to learn a new skill at this job, what would it be, and how would you go about learning it?

  5. How would you deal with a difficult client who threatens to take legal action?

Unique Company Culture Questions

You want your candidate to fit into your company culture. A unique question, therefore, shows how the candidate feels about their potential role within the company.

  1. If you had to make a commercial for our services, what would it look like?

  2. How comfortable are you with meeting new people?

  3. Why do you think people decide to work for this company?

  4. What does the perfect team at your job look like?

  5. How do your values and goals align with those of this company?

Unique Creativity Interview Questions

Our economy is filled with rapid change, so creativity is a skill every professional needs. A unique creativity question prompts your candidate to think outside the box.

  1. If you had to build a company from scratch, where would you start?

  2. How would you handle being trapped in an elevator with our CEO?

  3. If you had to give two presentations at the same time, what would you do?

  4. What can you use a pen for other than writing?

  5. What’s a product that you have always wanted to see on the market?

Additional Unique Interview Questions

There are many other types of unique interview questions you can ask to learn more about your candidates. Some other examples include:

  1. If you were the CEO, what would be your five-year plan for this company?

  2. Do you feel you work better in the morning, middle of the day, or in the afternoon?

  3. Given an unlimited amount of money for your budget, what would you do in your position?

  4. Who inspires you, and what would you say to them if they were here right now?

  5. What’s your biggest professional fear?

Tips For Asking Unique Interview Questions

When you want to ask unique interview questions for potential hires, consider the following tips so that you receive constructive answers:

  1. Have a purpose. You need to ask questions with a goal in mind. Although the concept of asking unique interview questions is fun, there still needs to be a point to them. Know what you want to get from your candidate’s answer.

  2. Keep your questions relevant. Tailor questions to the candidate and the job description. Some unique questions are better than others, depending on your circumstances. You need to determine what works based on what makes the most sense for you.

  3. Inform your candidate you’re going to ask unique questions. It can be awkward if you just blurt out unique questions unannounced. Give your candidate a chance to transition to the change of pace. This way, you will get a better answer from them.

  4. Never make your candidate feel uncomfortable. Keep your questions appropriate and avoid anything that can be discriminatory or too personal. Unique interview questions should be business-casual in tone, which means you still need to be professional. Always promote a sense of respect in yourself and towards your candidate.

  5. Make sure questions fit with objective evaluations of candidates. You want your interview process to be fair, so you either need to ask candidates the same or similar questions so that you can evaluate their responses.

    This is why it is helpful to have a purpose in mind when you ask your unique questions. Additionally, it can be useful to have an interview scorecard so that your system of evaluation is as objective as possible.

The Benefits Of Asking Unique Interview Questions

Unique interview questions are very important to establishing a successful interview. Some benefits of creative interview questions include:

  1. Makes candidates think on their feet. Many candidates will prepare for the interview by researching traditional interview questions. It is also likely that they have heard many of the same interview questions before.

    Your unique questions will subvert their expectations. They will have to come up with brand new answers that they haven’t prepared, which gives you a chance to see how they think. It also reveals a deeper insight into their character traits and problem-solving abilities.

  2. Keeps everyone engaged. A creative interview question will focus the candidate’s attention because it should be something they haven’t heard before. At the same time, you, as an interviewer, can feel more connected to the process because you are mixing things up a bit.

  3. Adds personality to the process. Job interviews can be a sterile interaction for both employers and candidates. A mundane, strictly professional job interview offers little emotional substance or special information.

    Unique interview questions can help you get to know the candidate better. There is also the added benefit that these types of questions can help you enjoy the hiring process more, which will be reflected in how you interact with the candidate.

  4. Good for company branding. You want to stand out amongst your competitors, and this is an easy way to do it. Along with everything else you offer a candidate, your unique questions can differentiate your company.

    When the time comes to make a decision, a highly desired candidate will have a better time remembering your organization. At the same time, your unique questions are a great way to reveal your company’s values and culture, which also acts as a way to attract talent.

  5. Relaxes candidates. Your unique questions should be fun for you and the candidate. If you are enjoying yourself and happy to add something different to the hiring process, then your candidate will feel more comfortable talking to you.

    This, combined with their own appreciation for the unique questions, will help them answer questions more truthfully.

  6. Unique questions provide unique answers. Finally, it should go without saying that your creative questions give candidates a chance to provide answers that help them stand out more. When the time comes to pick candidates, you may find that how they answered the questions provided you with the most valuable information.

Unique Interview Questions FAQ

  1. Is it good to ask unique interview questions?

    Yes, it is very good to ask unique interview questions. Just make sure they are relevant and appropriate. Creative interview questions help break up the monotony, which adds an element of personality and prompts the candidate to come up with creative answers.

    This change of pace will reveal traits about your potential hire that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

  2. How do I ask unique interview questions?

    To ask unique interview questions, have a purpose to what you are asking so that the candidate can provide a useful answer. Unique interview questions should not be unique for the sake of being strange or different unless that is relevant to the job in question.

    However, for the most part, a unique interview question is just a different way to learn about a candidate’s qualifications.


  1. Department of Labor – Interview Tips

  2. Office of Personnel Management – How To Conduct A Successful Interview

  3. University of Michigan – Interviewing Resources

Conor McMahon is a writer for Zippia, with previous experience in the nonprofit, customer service, and technical support industries. He has a degree in Music Industry from Northeastern University and in his free time he plays guitar with his friends. Conor enjoys creative writing between his work doing professional content creation and technical documentation.


Conor McMahon

Conor McMahon is a writer for Zippia, with previous experience in the nonprofit, customer service, and technical support industries. He has a degree in Music Industry from Northeastern University and in his free time he plays guitar with his friends. Conor enjoys creative writing between his work doing professional content creation and technical documentation.

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Topics: Conducting Interviews, Interviewer Tips