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Narrow Down the Top Talent With These Modern Interview Techniques

Blog / December 12, 2019

It’s fun to be innovative, isn’t it? And hiring is a place where you can get creative to help you find the best talent for your company. In fact, traditional, sit-down interviews are becoming increasingly rare. Employers are favoring more creative ways to investigate candidates’ qualifications and explore aspects of their personalities. They’re more interested in finding out how candidates solve problems, react to unexpected situations, and whether they have a sense of humor. Keep reading for four alternative types of interviewing techniques. Not only will these methods help you vet your employees more effectively, but you’ll also excite your potential hires with your creative, more contemporary style, thereby attracting the most talented candidates.

Try some behavioral interviews

Behavioral interviews allow the candidate to explain important experiences while also revealing particular characteristics that you might deem necessary for their role at your company. Start with small talk until the candidate seems relaxed, then ask questions about their past behaviors that hint at the attributes you’re looking for.

Ask what they’ve done in scenarios similar to those they’re likely to see at your company. For example, how have they handled customer complaints? Or how have they handled starting a project completely from scratch? Have they ever innovated an entirely new procedure and if so, how? If they reveal a history of demonstrating the traits you’re searching for, you might be sitting across from your future star employee.

Ask unusual questions

Since candidates are probably expecting traditional questions and have rehearsed traditional answers, generate a list of unexpected ones to see how they respond. There might not be a right or wrong answer, but you can gain some good insight into their thought process and see how they think on their feet.

You might ask what their favorite way to travel is, which superhero they most identify with, or what the title of their biography might be. Do they demonstrate poise and creativity in these unrehearsed, unguarded moments or do they panic and stumble?

Prompt them with some problem-solving tasks

Similarly, some companies like to present challenging problems and brainteasers to get a feel for how potential hires use their imaginations under pressure. Sometimes these are abstract brainteasers, like “how many golf balls fit into a 747?” Or you could ask about real life problems that your company has experienced in the past and would expect this candidate to tackle if hired. Eliminate the people who can’t identify the challenges and opportunities in each scenario and don’t demonstrate their ability to be innovative and forward thinking. 

Screen their social media profiles 

Most hiring managers already check out candidates’ social media pages before they decide to bring them in for an interview. The next step is to ask about details from the profiles, especially if there’s a discrepancy between something they present on their resumes and something you see online. Confront them about anything that seems questionable and see how they react to surprise questions.



For more advice on using creative interview techniques, check out our website at

Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh