“So, tell me about yourself?” How many interviews have you had that open with that question? It serves two purposes: 1) an ice-breaker to kick off the conversation and 2) to witness how the candidate prioritizes the details of her life. After that easy lob, you can’t predict what interview questions will come next.
Our favorite Q&A site Quora posed the question: What one question do you always ask applicants in a job interview, and why? Here, our favorite interesting interview questions and answers.
1. How do you stay current?
“The answer gives me a feel for the candidate’s curiosity and desire to continue learning, technical interests apart from work experience and how they value the knowledge and experiences of the broader technical community in building their skills and network.” —Travis Truman, software architect
2. If you could change one thing on your resume, what would it be and why?
“The answer tells me a lot about what they perceive as their own weaknesses, career regrets, and shortcomings.” —Tommy Thorton, IT professional
3. On a scale of 1-10, how lucky do you think you are, and why?
“This question has worked wonders for me to bring out some key incidents, experiences, and the overall philosophy.” —Puneet Mehta, cofounder, MyCityWay
4. Where do you rate your skills in [software/program/] on a scale 1-10?
“The number they give is usually irrelevant to the actual interview, but the way they go about explaining their answer reveals a lot about their character. A simple 1-10 rating scale on skill set with an explanation will give you so much insight about how a person views learning and improving.” —John B. Petersen III, startup founder
5. What’s the biggest misconception about you and why?
“Then, after they’ve answered, I follow up with, “How do you know it’s a misconception?” Tests how self-aware someone is, and whether they are open-minded. Two key traits in a great team member.” —Jane Yu, partnerships and philanthropy, AltSchool
6. What did you care about most when you were 10 years old?
7. What was the last thing you changed your mind about?
“Both are more specific than ‘tell me about yourself,’ and challenge the respondent to be specific, and, to me, the second question can show maturity and introspection.”—Gagan Diesh
8. What’s your favorite website?
“In truth, there are no wrong answers, but people who practice and read how to give the perfect interview are always flabbergasted. I want to know how they sound when they’re passionate about something, and make sure they love the internet. You can teach the rest…” —Alex Williams, creative and digital strategy director
9. Rank the following in terms of importance:
“It speaks to the alignment of goals, resource allocation, and priorities, and ability to tie different moving parts i.e. people … that are hard to measure and which make or break the company.” —Mrinal Desai, CEO and cofounder of addappt
10. Who is your hero and why?
“The why is most important. Research has shown that high-achievers have role models and you want to find out what personal attributes the job candidate admires and hopefully tries to live up to.” —Tony Mariotti, COO, Friendbuy