We asked members of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) to share the creative and unique interview questions they ask. Here's what they had to say.
1. Who would your intimate dinner party guests be?
They can invite only three guests, living or dead, real or fictional, but not family or a love interest. This is great to see how people think fast, create priorities, express curiosity and hopefully pull it all together. There is no right answer and candidates can find it hard to respond quickly. However, you can see the wheels turning and how they deal with the pressure of prolonged silence. It gives me insight on how they anticipate what will work for a complex group.
Tim Padgett, EO Chicago
President and CEO, The Pepper Group
2. I don't think you can do this job.
Halfway through sales position interviews, I will lean forward and look candidates straight in the eye and state that they can't do the job. I need them to counter with "Yes, I can." Sales is difficult, and they will get rejected time and time again. They need to be tough and this helps me assess their mettle.
Andy Bailey, EO Nashville
President, Petra Coach
3. What is your most significant accomplishment?
If a candidate cannot give specific examples of achievements from their prior jobs and how they were achieved, he or she is probably not an all-star. A football coach would not sign a player unless he knows his previous performance and skills. From the response's specificity, we are also able to gauge whether the candidate is sincere.
Nick Friedman, EO Central Florida
Co-founder and President, College Hunks Hauling Junk
4. What are you committed to?
We look for people who have a committed relationship with their future. People who know what they want and possess commitments which align with our company's vision and core values are people who fit in. They often produce passionate and inspired work.
Ryan Wilson, EO Colorado
CEO, FiveFifty Ltd.
5. Tell me three things I don't know about you.
It has been amazing how much new information I have learned with this question. Many people who give me rehearsed answers throughout the interview suddenly let their guard down and I learn some really interesting things about them.
Andrew Tupler, EO New Jersey
Financial Planner, Tupler Financial
6. What is your favorite band or musician?
This question isn't about what their answer is, but rather how long it takes them to identify a cultural element that has meaning for them. We recognize that our best team members have passions that extend beyond serving our clients. That passion is what makes that employee multi-dimensional and able to relate to a variety of prospects and clients.
Todd Murphy, EO Nebraska
Vice President, Universal Information Services, Inc.
7. What were you hired to do?
I ask about every past job and look to find what the employers expectations were when they brought the candidate on. The follow up is, "What did you actually do?" If they were hired to ring the register and ended up closing the books or hired to wrap chocolates and ends up doing all the training, it means they have grown professionally in the past and have the potential to grow with us.
Andrew Blickstein, EO Chicago
Founder, Home Run Media Inc.
8. What do you want to do after this?
My Chief People Officer and I ask them to assume they're hired and their answer tells us a lot about how they are thinking of their time at Skookum, as well as how they think about themselves. I love when someone says that they hope to start their own company after working here. Having the entrepreneurial bug can be invaluable to a small but fast-growing technology company.
Bryan Delaney, EO Charlotte
Owner, Skookum Digital Works