16 Innovative Interview Questions (With Tips and Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 14, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most employers ask questions about a candidate's job history, skill set, and experience during an interview, but they may also include innovative questions to learn about your personality and unique accomplishments. These unconventional questions often bring out more honest answers, although they can be more challenging to anticipate. Brainstorming relevant examples and practising your responses can help you confidently answer these questions in a way that reflects your talents and value. In this article, we explore 16 innovative interview questions, share sample answers, and provide some tips to help you impress hiring managers.


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16 Innovative interview questions with sample answers

Here are some unconventional questions you may hear in an interview. Use these as an opportunity to draw on your relevant experiences and express your personality:

1. What do you usually order at a diner?

A question like this can help you ease into an interview. You can share anecdotes or stories about how you choose your meal. Alternatively, you can simply consider your favourite dish and answer directly with an explanation of why.

Example: "When I eat at a diner, I almost always order a classic breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee, even if it's not breakfast time. It reminds me of my hometown growing up, and I can always count on it tasting the same."

Related: How To Describe Yourself in an Interview

2. What's one of your most memorable days at work?

This innovative interview question often displays your motivations, values, and accomplishments. Consider sharing a significant accomplishment or milestone in your career.

Example: "One of the best days I've had at work was after my first promotion. It was exciting to be selected to lead an entirely new position, though I was even more moved when my colleagues shared my excitement the following day. They decorated my desk and signed a card, cheering me on. Knowing I had a supportive environment made me feel confident about myself and the success of the role."

3. What was the last present you gave to someone?

A question like this often relies on memory. It's okay to pause and reflect rather than sharing your first thought. You can repeat the question aloud to give yourself a moment to consider. An excellent answer might showcase a relationship with someone, your personal values, or your creativity.

Example: "I prefer to gift meaningful experiences as gifts instead of material things because I enjoy creating memories I can recall with the person. I took a cooking class with my niece for her birthday last month. As a teenager interested in pursuing culinary arts, I wanted to support her goals and learn how to improve my cooking, too."

4. Would you rather have a personal trainer or personal chef?

Questions with two options often focus on your explanation rather than your choice. Because either option can be a sound answer, stay focused on highlighting what goes into your decision-making.

Example: "Having a personal chef would save me time and ensure I'm eating healthy, well-balanced meals. It would also allow me to experience different cultures through foods I haven't tried before. I'd also prefer that so I could learn new culinary skills of my own from a professional."

Related: 8 Time Management Interview Questions and Example Answers

5. If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?

When answering this question, consider what superpower might be useful to the job you're interviewing for. You can show your critical thinking skills by explaining your reasoning.

Example: "I'd love to have the power to fly. That would save time on my morning commute, and would give me a unique perspective of the world from a bird's-eye view."

6. Is there a specific year of your life you'd like to relive?

This question might give an employer insight into experiences that might not otherwise come up in an interview. Sharing aspects of your past can also help explain your motivation, inspiration, and proudest moments.

Example: "I think my last year of college would be one I'd enjoy reliving. My friends pursued their career goals in different cities and countries, and it'd be nice to gather with them again."

7. If you could be a dessert, which one would you be?

A creative question like this might give insight into how you see yourself, your level of creativity, and how you establish rapport with the interviewer. Consider sharing a detailed explanation of what dessert you choose and your reasoning to provide a sound answer.

Example: "If I could be any dessert, I'd be a strawberry trifle. I love the uniformed look of the desert and the careful crafting to put it together. The distinct layers of a trifle make me think about the values, talents, and experiences I have and can build upon in my professional and personal life. For example, my strong work ethic is the cake, my passion and expertise for accounting are the custard, my hobbies and activities are the fruit, and my accomplishments are the cream topping."

8. What's an opinion you hold which others might consider unpopular?

You can use this question to show your unique personality or persuasiveness, though it's best to keep away from controversial topics and keep answers light-hearted.

Example: "I'm a firm believer that the only way to eat french fries is dipping them in mayonnaise. Most people use ketchup, and it always surprises me how strongly people feel about condiments."

9. What online articles or books do you like to read?

Hiring managers may ask this question to assess how well-informed you are about your industry or current events. Give an honest response and try to relate your answer to your goals related to the open position.

Example: "Science blogs are my favourite. I love reading about new innovations and discoveries. They often inspire me to try new methods in my line of work."

Related: Crafting Interview Answers for 10 Common Interview Questions

10. If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what book would you choose?

Hiring managers may ask this question to understand your decision-making skills and what you prioritize. Your answer might highlight the values, interests, and hobbies most important to you or relate to the job or industry.

Example: "I'd pick the biography Paul McCartney: The Life. The Beatles had such a profound influence on my upbringing. Paul and his music, in particular, helped encourage me during a personal health challenge many years ago. I find I can relate to his passion for music, love of animals, and vegetarian lifestyle, and I feel like I always discover something new when I read the book."

11. What advice would you give a former boss?

The goal of this question is to give insight into your past working relationships. Consider focusing on traits or behaviours of your previous boss that you admired, and perhaps find one element to share constructive feedback on.

Example: "My previous manager was excellent at recognition and feedback, which helped me stay motivated to do well. My advice would be to continue holding monthly check-ins with her team. They really help with professional development and morale. If I had to change anything, I'd focus on driving collaboration between departments."

12. Which two people, dead or alive, would you most want to share dinner with?

You can showcase traits you admire in others by answering this question. An employer might learn about your character and how you work with others.

Example: "I'd pick John F. Kennedy because I admire his leadership and tenacity, and Madonna because I love her music and boldness. I'd learn a lot by observing how two powerful personalities from different eras interact."

13. What would you title your autobiography?

A question like this lets you assess your values and accomplishments. Consider an answer that focuses on future goals or themes throughout your life and career.

Example: "I'd title my book with a reference to my family and friends because the relationships I build in life mean so much to me. I might call it My People, My Home for that reason."

Related: 14 Signs Your Job Interview Went Well

14. If you could be an animal, which one would it be?

This innovative interview question can help an employer determine if you're a strong culture add to the company. Provide an original answer and explain how your traits relate to the chosen animal.

Example: "I'd pick a honeybee because I like to fly, enjoy hard work, and love being part of a team. I also thrive when doing work that has meaning."

15. How do you relax?

An employer might find it helpful to know how employees handle stress. You can answer this question by sharing how you maintain a work-life balance.

Example: "I bake as a hobby to relieve stress and create treats for my friends, family, and colleagues. Kneading dough often releases frustration and focusing on the details of cake decorating shifts my attention away from work."

16. Where would you live if it could be anywhere?

This question lets you share your sense of adventure. It can also help you build rapport with the interviewer by expressing some of your hobbies and interests.

Example: "I'd pick New Zealand, because there are so many beautiful hiking trails, mountains, and beaches to visit. I often do my best work when I can get outside and be active in my spare time."

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