While it is definitely helpful to practice answering typical questions you’ll get asked in almost every interview; it is equally important to research unique interview questions because those might be the ones that make or break your chances of getting the job.
Interviewers often aim to get a sense of who you are and what you can offer the company based on how you respond to the unique interview questions.
The prospect of answering unique interview questions might be daunting. However, you need not be concerned. Just read this article and review the 14 sets of unique interview questions and answers that our HR experts have prepared for you.
- “What fictional character do you mostly identify with, and why?” “How many windows are in Manhattan?” and “How many cars are there in LA?” are all examples of unique interview questions.
- Questions like “Tell me about yourself,” “Tell me why you wish to work for our company,” and “Within the next five years, where do you see yourself?” are typical in the interview process.
- Interviewers can learn more about candidates’ problem-solving and communication skills, as well as creativity and adaptability, by asking them unique interview questions.
Common Interview Questions
The majority of interviewers opt for a boilerplate, basic set of questions.
Some examples are as follows:
- Tell me about yourself. The purpose of this inquiry is to get you comfortable talking about yourself and your background in the workplace. However, highlight your experience and qualifications that are particularly relevant to the role in order to demonstrate your worth to the organization.
- Tell me why you wish to work for our company. By asking this question, you can demonstrate that you are familiar with the company. Prepare well for the interview by reading as much as you can about the company. Then, during the interview, you can discuss how your values align with those of the company.
- Within the next five years, where do you see yourself? The employers want to know if you have any plans for the future and, if so, what motivates you to work toward those plans. They are checking to see if you have a good sense of both ambition and practicality in your goals.
14 Unique Interview Questions With Answers
Contrary to first impressions, there is significant value in asking unique interview questions.
By asking candidates such questions, hiring managers can identify those who are comfortable with ambiguity and can easily adjust to novel circumstances.
So, let’s consider some unique interview questions to ask candidates.
#1. What fictional character do you mostly identify with, and why?
Hiring managers can learn a lot about a candidate’s values and character traits from the fictional character they choose to answer this question.
So, to make a good first impression, it is best to pick a character who embodies all the ideals and personality traits associated with the role.
Here’s a possible answer:
Harry Potter is the fictitious character with whom I most closely identify. Harry is naturally curious and enjoys learning new things. In addition, he is a team player who is always willing to lend a hand whenever he is needed.
#2. How many windows are in Manhattan?
This question can help hiring managers figure out whether an applicant is more analytical or creative.
Answering this question logically will show that the candidate has the analytical skills necessary for the position. However, if the position requires creativity, the answer to this question should reflect that.
Take a look at this example reply:
The first thing we can do is tally the windows on one floor of a typical high-rise in Manhattan. Once we have that, we can multiply it by the number of floors in the building. Once we have that figure, we can multiply it by the anticipated total number of buildings in Manhattan.
#3. How many cars are there in LA?
This is another example of a question that can assess an applicant’s ability to think critically. So, make sure to respond to this question in a logical manner.
To arrive at an educated guess, one should take into account a number of variables. It’s better to offer a well-reasoned estimate than a wild guess.
Here’s an example of a possible response:
There are two factors that must be taken into account before I can arrive at an estimate: the total population of Los Angeles County and the average number of cars per family. With these three figures, I can make a reasonably confident estimate and provide an answer.
#4. If you were the CEO of our company, what would you do in the next 5 years?
Candidates’ answers to this question might shed light on their ability to think strategically, envision the future, and provide solutions that mesh with the ethos of the organization.
The candidate should take this opportunity to demonstrate that they have researched the organization and are familiar with its mission, values, and ambitions. They can also demonstrate their general business acumen.
One possible response is the following:
If I were CEO, I’d prioritize expanding the business and ensuring its long-term viability. Over the next five years, I propose cutting costs as much as possible without sacrificing quality in order to maximize profits. This could be attained through regularly scheduled events for learning and collaborating, including conferences and retreats. In addition, I would put money toward acquiring new technology that would speed up the process of completing specific jobs and increase output.
#5. Pitch our business to me as if I am a prospective buyer.
Candidates can show off their interpersonal and sales skills by answering this question.
Demonstrating familiarity with the sales process and the company’s core values is essential. So speak specifically and avoid general comments.
An example of a possible response would go something like this:
You should choose our company not only because we deliver quality products and services but also because we pride ourselves on being adaptable to the needs and preferences of our customers. We place a premium on happy customers, so you can be confident that your inquiry will be processed quickly and effectively.
#6. If I gave you $100,000 to open a business, what would you do?
This is one of the unique interview questions that is designed to test the creativity of the candidate as well as see what they are most passionate about.
A tip when it comes to answering this question is to consider the kind of impact it will have on the customer base and, of course, the kind of profit the business could generate.
A possible answer is as follows:
If I got 100,000 dollars, I’d use it to fund an online thrift store that caters to people like myself who are passionate about sustainability. I’m interested in starting a business that can compete with fast-fashion websites. The $100,000 would be used to develop the site, manage the shipment, find the vendors, and launch a fashion-focused marketing campaign.
#7. Can you tell me about something you understand really well in less than five minutes?
The interviewer wants to know if the candidate can take a large, complicated idea and break it down into smaller components.
So, it is best to choose a subject about which one has extensive knowledge and avoid jargon as much as possible.
Take a look at this example response:
My experience in content marketing allows me to provide a high-level explanation of SEO (search engine optimization). To rank highly on the search engine results page of Google, the content must be optimized with the most relevant keywords. To do this, it is not enough for the articles to be properly written; heading optimization, schemas, and other on-site and off-site SEO practices must be employed to help search engines like Google understand what the content is about.
#8. How would you market ice cream in the Arctic?
This is a fantastic question for showcasing an applicant’s ability to think outside the box and overcome challenges at work.
Applicants’ responses will shed light on their ability to develop a marketing strategy for a product that is not common in a certain region. So, it’s crucial to display the kind of niche expertise that can help amass a clientele in any environment.
One possible reply is as follows:
I think it would be smart to sell ice cream in the Arctic by making references to the local culture. We may talk to the locals, learn what kinds of flavors they like, and try to blend some of their common ingredients into flavors they would appreciate instead of promoting existing popular brands. We could also include some fruit flavors since fruit is rarely available in the Arctic.
In addition, due to the fact that these ice creams can have a longer shelf life due to natural refrigeration, the overall cost will be lower, which is another incentive for them to buy them.
#9. What’s the best, most cost-effective way to ship 10,000 sharks across the country?
This is another one of the unique interview questions designed to probe the candidate’s capacity for forethought, strategy, problem-solving, effective communication, and keen analysis.
The welfare of the animals should be one of several considerations in a response. Think about the ethics of the situation as well as the relevant rules and regulations that apply in circumstances of mismanagement. Additionally, devise strategies that will save money while increasing productivity.
The following is an example of a suitable response:
Proper investigation into what these species need to survive transportation can only begin after initial contact is made with marine experiment facilities. Then it’s our responsibility to provide all that is needed. This includes things like adequate storage for water, oxygen, food, and other necessities. We also need to collect all the required permits to ensure the shipment is carried out as quickly and securely as possible.
#10. How may artificial intelligence affect our sector?
The purpose of this question is to assess the candidate’s awareness of current events as well as their capacity to apply critical thinking abilities and plan forward.
In response, it is recommended to demonstrate knowledge of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) applications. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and avoid making broad, unhelpful statements that add no real value to the response.
Consider this response: AI has the potential to significantly alter the sector for the better. It can assist in reducing the time spent on repetitive jobs, reducing the number of mistakes made when managing data, and freeing up time for humans to focus on more engaging duties.
#11. How would you describe the purpose of this job to an alien?
This is one of the unique interview questions designed to assess the candidate’s clarity of expression and capacity to convey complex concepts clearly and concisely.
Make sure to use plain words, as it will help the extraterrestrial better understand your message.
Here’s an excellent example of a response:
In my day job, I make my living writing content for search engines. To make my articles stand out from the thousands of others on the same topic, I need to employ a number of optimization strategies. Techniques for optimization consist of things like writing catchy headlines and repeating keywords throughout the text.
#12. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three possessions would you want with you?
Employers ask this because they want to see if candidates can think on their feet in a crisis and if they know what supplies to keep on hand.
So, be sure to specify any useful objects that could come in handy in perilous or otherwise unforeseeable circumstances. Whatever goods are selected, impressing the employer will come down to how well they are justified.
Here’s a potential response:
A pocket knife that could be used for both self-defense and hunting would be one of the first things I’d bring if I were ever to be stranded on a deserted island. A water bottle equipped with a filter would also be necessary for me to securely drink from the ocean. Lastly, to get in touch with someone and seek help, I’d need a solar-powered phone.
#13. Which superpower would you choose if you could only have one?
The candidate’s interests, values, and passions can be gleaned from their response to this question.
Answering this question honestly requires one to consider why this superpower appeals to them and how they may put it to use. Connecting the superpower to a positive personal quality is also a great way to impress a potential employer.
One possible response is the following:
Teleportation would be the one superpower I’d choose if I had to pick only one. Since I enjoy seeing the world and learning about other cultures, I think teleportation would greatly facilitate my travels and help me gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the people and places in all corners of the globe. In addition, I’d be able to check in on my friends and family whenever they needed me most, no matter where they happened to be.
#14. What kind of animal would you like to be if you could choose?
Based on their chosen animal, this inquiry will assess the candidate’s talents and worldview.
While answering this question, one should pick an animal that one can identify with based on the qualities relevant to the position at hand.
Take a look at this example reply:
If I could choose any animal in the world to become, it would be a dolphin. Like dolphins, I consider it a priority to work together to solve problems, and I’m always happy to lend a hand to people in need.
This concludes our 14 unique interview questions and answers!
While it is a great idea to go over some common interview questions, you should most certainly not forget about the unique interview questions, as these might make the biggest difference.
If you prepare in advance, you won’t be caught off guard, so make sure to practice using the 14 unique interview questions and answers from this article. Good luck with your next interview!