I’ve interviewed a lot of people for both regular full time, part time, and freelance jobs. I like to ask interesting and creative questions during the process to see how the applicants respond. This often tells me more about the person than the standard “tell me about your employment history” types of questions. So today I’m sharing some of my favorite interview questions and assessment tests.
As a brief disclaimer to make my attorney happy: In no way am I saying these assessments are legal, should be asked under any circumstances, or admitting that I’ve actually asked any of them. Now, with that out of the way, let’s mess with a few imaginary job applicants and ask them the following:
1.) “Do you believe that women have souls?”
I got this question from the book “Cold Comfort Farm” and thought it was so good that I added it to my list of interview questions. I like to examine the applicant’s reaction. The best answer I received was from a psychologist. He replied, “I know they do because my wife tells me so.”
2.) “Please bend this spoon with your mind.”
That’s all you say. Then set a plastic spoon down in front of the person. Next, pick up a stopwatch, click the start button, and then stare at the person patiently. Keep glancing back at the watch and pretend to make notes.
3.) “Each of my personalities refuses to believe that the others exist. How would you handle the situation if two of them gave you conflicting assignments with the same deadline?”
This is really a good situational test to see how an individual would handle stress on the job. In addition, anyone who dismisses the question as absurd is demonstrating a lack of creativity and should be eliminated from consideration for the job.
4.) “How many fairies does it take to change a lightbulb?”
The correct answer: none. They use their wands to light the room so lightbulbs are irrelevant. I know it seems too obvious, but I’m amazed at how many people get this one wrong. Really good applicants will ask “What color light?” before giving an answer.
5.) “Do you see dead people?”
Some people get freaked out by this question, but this skill could be extremely useful in the workplace. Dead people often have information and insight that the living don’t have. Rare information is also often valuable to living people with credit cards.
I have a lot more "alleged" questions and assessments, but this is probably enough to get you all started on making up your own. Soon you’ll see how much fun it is to interview job candidates and you’ll want to hire someone every week. Think of this blog post as my contribution to the economy.