If you want to find the best of the best employees, sometimes you have to challenge candidates to see who stands out. Asking some tough, unexpected questions can help you gain real insight into the tech candidates you’re considering. Here are some questions to get you started.

  1. What’s one reason we shouldn’t hire you? This question is similar to “what’s your greatest weakness?” and evaluates the honesty and self-awareness of candidates. No one wants to give a reason they shouldn’t be considered, especially during an interview, but the best candidates are the one who can assess their trouble spots, speak honestly about them, and have thoughts for how to address them.
  2. Explain XYZ: Some companies ask “Explain the internet to someone who’s never heard of it” or “Explain a vending machine to someone who hasn’t ever seen one” while others will ask, “How does Facebook make their money?” or “What’s bitcoin?” These questions are meant to assess a candidate’s ability to teach, problem-solve, and work methodically while using information that they have at least a basic understanding of themselves.
  3. Let’s play: Some companies challenge their candidates to a game like ping pong, foosball, or basketball. This gives recruiters the ability to see candidates with their guard down – most won’t have prepped to play ping pong with the VP – and helps to show how a candidate handles stress and surprise.
  4. “What’s the probability?”: Questions that ask candidates to surmise the probability of a hypothetical scenario, estimate something like the number of employees in a near building or use logic to solve an equation all help employers discover how quick thinking and open-minded these possible employees are.

Why is it important to pose potential employees with challenging questions? Isn’t it unfair to trick or surprise candidates who’ve taken time to prepare? Not necessarily. Some research has pointed to the fact that candidates who reported greater-than-average challenging interview experiences also reported higher job satisfaction. It would seem that not only do some difficult questions help you get to know your employee’s capabilities, but also show which employees are best matched with your company.

If you’re looking to find the best tech talent, get in touch with our team today.

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