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Do Oddball Interview Questions Really Serve Any Purpose?

  • By basitahmaddar
  • April 18, 2024
  • 5 mins read
oddball interview questions
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    Hiring managers tend to rely on a standard set of interview questions to assess if a job candidate is a good match for the position and the company’s culture. However, because these questions are so predictable, candidates often have prepared answers ready. This trend has led to an increase in hiring managers asking oddball interview questions to mix things up.

    In this article, we’ll delve into what exactly oddball interview questions are, why they’re used, and discuss steps to streamline the interview process for better efficiency.

    Also Read: What is AI Recruitment:  A Complete Guide

    What Are Oddball Interview Questions?

    Oddball interview questions are unconventional inquiries designed to evaluate candidates’ ability to think creatively and respond adaptively. These questions provide valuable insights beyond traditional interview queries. For example, a candidate might be asked, “If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?” or “If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three items, what would they be?” These questions not only assess problem-solving skills but also serve as conversation starters, offering a glimpse into the candidate’s personality and thought process.

    Also Read: How AI-Powered Tech Can Help Recruiters And Hiring Managers Find Candidates Quicker And More Efficiently

    How do candidates perceive oddball interview questions?

    Candidates frequently discuss their experiences with oddball interview questions on online forums, often expressing doubts about their usefulness. Despite the lack of concrete evidence supporting their effectiveness in assessing candidates, a study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology revealed conflicting outcomes. While interviewees generally saw these questions as irrelevant, they also found them enjoyable and engaging. The research suggested that candidates with a strong sense of humor tended to react more positively to such questions.

    Also Read: Complete Guide To Job Description

    What Types of Questions Should Be Asked during Interviews? 

    Now that you understand oddball interview questions, let’s look at various types of questions that can make interviews more effective:

    Behavioral Interview

    In a behavioral interview, the focus is on uncovering how candidates have responded to specific situations in the past, as this often predicts future performance. Rather than hypothetical scenarios, candidates are prompted to share real-life examples from their work history. By narrating these experiences, candidates showcase their skills and attributes in action, offering tangible evidence of their capabilities. 

    This approach enables hiring managers to assess a candidate’s qualifications and personality traits more effectively by evaluating their responses to practical challenges. Questions typically touch on areas such as goal-setting, problem-solving, teamwork, and overcoming obstacles.

    Also Read: Hiring Pipeline: Definition & Creative Ways to Strengthen Your Hiring Pipeline

    Brain Teaser Interview

    The brain teaser interview is tailored to evaluate candidates’ problem-solving and creative thinking abilities, particularly pertinent in technical roles. Candidates are presented with intricate puzzles or hypothetical scenarios that demand innovative solutions. Unlike behavioral interviews, where candidates draw from past experiences, brain teaser questions challenge candidates to think critically and generate unique responses on the spot. 

    These questions often have multiple solutions, allowing hiring managers to assess a candidate’s adaptability and approach to unfamiliar problems. While common in technical fields, brain teaser questions can also assess general problem-solving skills applicable across various roles.

    Also Read: Importance of Soft Skills in Hiring

    Case Study Interview

    In a case study interview, candidates are tasked with analyzing a specific business problem and proposing a solution within a defined timeframe. These interviews replicate real-world challenges candidates may face in the role they’re applying for. By presenting practical problems, hiring managers can evaluate candidates’ ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real scenarios, their analytical skills, and their decision-making under pressure. 

    Case study interviews also provide insights into a candidate’s communication abilities as they articulate their thought processes and solutions. Overall, this format offers a deeper understanding of candidates’ problem-solving approaches and decision-making abilities, aiding in assessing their suitability for the role and the organization.

    Also Read: How AI in HR helps in recruitment

    What Makes Structured Interviews Important? 

    No matter the interview style, even if oddball interview questions are thrown in, structured interviews are essential. They greatly increase the chances of hiring top-notch candidates by ensuring fairness and objectivity while minimizing any biases, whether intentional or not. Structured interviews are also geared towards long-term success, focusing on strategic planning and organizational goals. Their systematic approach enables thorough and equitable assessments, leading to better hiring outcomes and overall company success.

    Also Read: Step by Step Guide to Write an Effective Job Description

    Why Choosing BarRaiser For Structured Interviews Is A Wise Decision? 

    Here is why leveraging BarRaiser for structured interviews stands out as an intelligent and strategic decision:

    Evidence-Based Hiring Decisions

    BarRaiser simplifies the interview process by allowing an interviewer to select candidate skills. Using AI, it then generates a tailored interview structure, including time limits for different sections like introductions or technical rounds. Hiring managers retain control, customizing the structure as needed, adding or removing questions based on their preferences and the specific role requirements.

    Also Read: What is Diversity in the Workplace?

    AI-Driven Interview Structuring

    With BarRaiser, interviewers not only receive a set of predefined questions but also benefit from AI-driven suggestions for additional questions based on selected skills. This dynamic feature saves time for interviewers and ensures that questions are highly relevant to the candidate’s qualifications and the job’s demands. By tailoring questions to match the interviewer’s prompts, BarRaiser enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the interview process.

    Also Read: Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace

    Interview Plan & Guidelines

    BarRaiser offers the convenience of creating guidelines for interviewers. This feature is particularly beneficial when multiple interviewers are involved, as it promotes consistency and alignment across interviews. By outlining key topics to cover during the interview, a hiring manager can ensure that all relevant aspects are addressed, enhancing the comprehensiveness of the evaluation process.

    Also Read: How AI-Driven Interview Co-Pilot is Next Big Thing For Job Interviews

    Enhanced Candidate Experience

    Real-time feedback collected by BarRaiser’s Co-pilot provides evaluation metrics that enable interviewers to rate candidate performance. These metrics, coupled with AI algorithms, automatically calculate candidate scores, facilitating objective decision-making and enhancing the overall candidate evaluation process. By providing candidates with a structured and transparent evaluation framework, BarRaiser contributes to a positive candidate experience.

    Also Read: How To Choose An Interview Outsourcing Company

    Seamless ATS Integration

    BarRaiser seamlessly integrates with major ATS providers such as Lever, Greenhouse, and Workday. This integration ensures smooth data flow and compatibility, eliminating compatibility concerns and streamlining the recruitment workflow. By synchronizing with existing ATS systems, BarRaiser enhances the overall efficiency and accuracy of candidate management, facilitating seamless recruitment processes.

    Also Read: How Job Descriptions Improve Your Interview Process?


    In conclusion, the evolution of interview practices, from traditional formats to innovative approaches like oddball questions, underscores the dynamic nature of talent assessment. While oddball questions can inject creativity into interviews, structured interview techniques offer a systematic and reliable approach to candidate evaluation. Platforms like BarRaiser exemplify the fusion of technology and hiring practices, providing evidence-based solutions that enhance decision-making and streamline the recruitment process. By leveraging structured interviews, organizations can mitigate biases, ensure fairness, and ultimately make quick hiring decisions that align with long-term strategic objectives.

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