Weird Ways of Assessing Candidates

4 Unique Ways Other Companies Assess Candidates

Finding a new employee should be an exciting time for your company.

However, after seeing more than ten CVs and listening to the same responses in an interview multiple times, the excitement can soon wear off.

To keep things fresh all the way through for both parties, certain businesses have adopted some weird and wonderful methods to assess candidates.

Here are four of the best, which you can adapt and try for yourself.

Wine and cheese nights

Creative Niche’s wine and cheese nights are undoubtedly one of the tastiest options going.

Once candidates have gone through two rounds of interviews, the successful ones are then invited to this fun evening party with the current employees.

Treated like a speed dating session, the candidates can use the time available to mingle with their potential new colleagues and try to leave a lasting impression.

After a lot of cheese and wine is consumed, each and every employee has to give a person a thumbs up or down in private.

Unless a candidate gets a thumbs up from everyone, they won’t be offered the job.

While it might seem extremely harsh, it’s a brilliant way to ensure the team is 100% happy with the new addition and a positive team culture is preserved.

As a result, Creative Niche’s staff retention rate is an incredible 90%.

They came up with the idea after hiring some bad cultural hires who hampered productivity levels.

It also lets their current employees know that their opinion matters too – which is vital when you want to build a strong bond within a team.

Forgetting about CVs

Instead of sticking to the regimented CV approach, American tech firm, Detroit Labs, asked applicants to simply fill out a Getting to Know You (GTKY) document instead.

From hobbies and skills to listing their favourite books on their bookshelf or Kindle and naming their favourite blogger, this document is specifically designed to get to know a person properly.

A candidate’s GTKY document answers are then handed out to the current employees so that they can raise any concerns.

The co-founder of Detroit Labs, Nathan Hughes, says:

“The GTKY is designed to replace the filler we often see in resumes with the kind of information we really want to use to determine if a candidate should come in for an in-person interview”.

“We hope they tell us if the candidate has the aptitude for the job, the motivation to succeed in our environment, and the willingness to put in the effort and energy during this early stage to tell us their story and get us interested.”

A text message interview

Sorry, what?

Yep, that’s right, an SMS interview.

This concept was first used by the tech company Canvas, who were interested in utilising the simplicity and popularity of SMS as a communications channel.

It’s used as an effective tool to enable employers to shortlist candidates during the early stages.

There aren’t any complicated questions, just a series of simple but specific screening style ones.


  • Have you got 5 years of experience in the [industry type] industry?
  • Do you live in [location]? If not, are you willing to relocate?
  • What’s your notice period?

By getting candidates to text their answers, recruiters and employers can save time usually spent screening them via email or telephone.

Taster day

If you want to put a candidate to the test, Market Recruitment’s taster day idea is perfect.

From an employer point of view, you’ll be able to see how they work alongside the team and whether they can practice what they preach!

So many questions can be answered within just a small four-hour taster day.

Candidates also benefit from this process too. After all, how are they supposed to know whether they actually enjoy the day-to-day role if they’ve never experienced it?

It’s all about taking each other for a ‘test drive’, to see if both parties are happy.

The director of Market Recruitment, Matt Dodgson, says: “This [the mini-workday] usually entails being given a project that can be accomplished within four hours (the candidate is given some prep materials beforehand), and then lunch with the team afterwards”.

“We then conduct an in-depth interview with the candidate the next week to evaluate their performance and ask focused follow-up questions.”

“We’ve found that this puts candidates on the hot seat, but it gives us and clients better insight as to how the candidate would fit within the position and the team.”

Which one will you try first?

These recruitment methods of assessing candidates might be a little strange and unconventional, but they’re great alternatives to finding top talent.

As a plan of action, try a new method out every recruitment campaign and monitor the results.

See if they attract more applicants, improve the candidate experience and lead to a better/more committed hire.

If you’re seeing positive results, don’t be afraid to implement the changes on a full-time basis.

Remember, recruiting new staff should be fun, as well as effective.

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