Are you interested in a new trend in job interview questions - or perhaps an old trend newly revived? Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at the Northeastern University business school, believes that more and more businesses are asking unusual job interview questions as part of their candidate job interview process. Unusual job interview questions have been linked for many years with the interview process at Microsoft.
Recent reviews of the books that discuss the Microsoft puzzle questions at Amazon.com indicate, however, that Microsoft may no longer be using its traditional puzzle questions - at least for hiring software developers. Reviewers who read the book in preparation for interviews at Microsoft indicate that they were asked no puzzle questions. One reviewer noted that Microsoft employees informed him that the questions were not identifying the best candidates. They now use programming problem solving exercises on a white board to identify a programming mind and skills. I support this approach as testing should approximate the skills needed for the job.
So, is there room for unusual job interview questions in hiring employees? Absolutely. Start with a consistent series of behaviorally-based questions. Add in an unusual job interview question or two. Ask each candidate the same questions and contrast responses from all candidates. The unusual job interview questions may bring you additional insights about your candidates. Take a look at these examples of unusual job interview questions and a list of generic behaviorally-based questions, too.