6 Interview Questions to Help Relax a Candidate

When it comes to an interview, candidates have a lot to think about. From wearing the right clothes to doing their research on the company.

However, they aren’t the only party who have a lot to consider. According to a report from Monster, 58% of candidates would turn down a position if the level of banter wasn’t very good in the interview.

So as an employer, your every move is under scrutiny as well. Eek!

As a starting point, you should ditch the cliché questions and create a series of challenging but fun alternatives.

This will not only allow you to learn more things about the candidate, but it will also demonstrate your lighter side as a company as well.

To give you an idea of what sort of ice-breaker interview questions you should be asking to help relax a candidate and make your company look good, we’ve put together a few of our favourites.

What activities do you like to do on a holiday?

This question is very open-ended as there are several kinds of holidays a candidate can go on.

For instance, a romantic getaway with a partner, or a rowdy, party trip with friends.

A candidate who loves to socialise may suggest that you have a good team player on your hands. This kind of person will add a level of fun and thrive in team situations.

Whereas someone who prefers a museum or trip to experience different cultures points towards an inquisitive thinker who likes to learn.

As an employer, you’ll see the best results from this person when you give them plenty of challenges and extra responsibility.

What’s your favourite dinner?

You may be thinking that this is a strange question to ask. But food is a universal thing and will break the ice.

A classic dish like fish and chips could mean that the candidate likes home comforts and was brought up with strong family traditions.

As a result, this might make them a perfect employee to fit in nicely within the dynamic of a workplace.

Whereas a candidate who loves a spicy Asian dish will create the idea that they like to push the boundaries and try innovative things.

These particular employees are essential in broadening your business’ product offering and strategy going forward.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

The best answer here isn’t a reply mentioning your specific position, but one that shows a much bigger ambition.

Without being too downbeat, I would hazard a guess that 90% of people in the UK didn’t always want to work in the profession that they ended up in. When you’re young, you dare to dream. Whether that’s a professional footballer or an astronaut, this could lead to a series of questions.

You can then continue this conversation and really get to know the candidate, instead of sticking to routine competency questions.

As a business, you need to know your new employees inside out. This way, you can utilise their true ambitions and strengths to gain better results for your business.

For example, if a candidate wanted to be a footballer, perhaps you can put them in charge of social activities or set them targets as they naturally want to win/get results.

If you were given £1m, what would you spend it on?

If you want a fun way to start an interview, this question is undoubtedly one of the best choices. Those candidates who say that they’d quit work and go travelling could mean that they are either adventurous or not committed.

Whereas those who say that they’d buy their loved ones something indicates that there’s a selfless side to them, which is a strong trait required in the care industry and within a team who needs a generally nice person to help morale.

You could end up with a few candidates saying that they’d invest some of it. In which case, have you found a shrewd businessperson who is always thinking about the future? If so, you should snap them up.

What’s your favourite song of all-time?

I personally find this one will put a lot of candidates on the spot, which may give you a little taste of how they handle pressured situations.

You’ll notice some candidates go for a safer option to try and make themselves “look cool”. But then you could discover someone who has a similar taste in music as you – happy days!

This interview question can then lead to further ones about festivals, genres and testing them on their knowledge about a certain band or artist.

Just remember to have some fun with it. After all, you want to lighten the mood, not make them sweat!

If a Hollywood director made a biopic about you, which actor would play you?

This interview question is always fun and brings a level of banter to the process.

If they choose a comedian, you might have stumbled upon a joker and a top team player.

Alternatively, an actor commonly associated with action films will either suggest that they are confident, or that they possess a no-nonsense approach to life.

The latter trait makes them ideal for the ruthless nature of sales and marketing.

Final thoughts

Whether you choose one, two or all of these interview questions, the main thing to remember is to have some fun.

Cheeky responses and an element of light-heartedness can allow the candidate to open up more and give you a true idea of who they are.

You’ll also demonstrate that you’re not a stuffy company who doesn’t like to push the boundaries. Candidates will want to feel excited by a role, so ask some light questions and see the benefits.

Good luck!

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