5 Important Questions Companies Ask to Hire Team Players

When it comes to the job interview, asking cliché questions such as “Where do you see yourself in five years?” is about as exciting as a flat tire. These types of questions are more likely to produce well-constructed answers that were thoroughly processed and memorized prior to the interview. Although asking these questions can help you gauge how prepared a candidate was for an interview, they don’t always reveal a candidate’s true personality or how they might fit within the company.

The best hiring managers tend to ask unexpected questions that might throw off candidates, in order to better analyze the candidate’s cultural fit. Here are five questions they use to determine if the candidate will bring in positive energy to the office culture.

Who’s your “real-life superhero” and why?

It’s similar to asking “What type of qualities do you aspire to?” but generally gives you better insights. Asking a candidate who their real-life superhero is will tell you what characteristics/traits they admire and tend to model themselves after. You can follow up on this question by asking why, and get the candidate’s perspective on how these traits relate to success in life.

Describe the characteristics of the best boss you ever had (or wished you had).

Like the superhero question, asking about a candidate’s “ideal boss” often reflects someone they aspire to be, but from a workplace perspective. Some characteristics you want to listen for include the ability to listen to different opinions, effectively handle internal conflict, and the ability to lead a team toward accomplishing goals. You can dig even deeper and ask about the type of work environment the candidate is most productive in. This will paint a better picture of the type of culture the candidate is most comfortable in.

What type of sports or activities do you enjoy?

Asking the candidate what type of sports or activities they enjoy will give you additional details of the candidate’s personality. There are people who enjoy contributing to a group effort, and there are people who enjoy playing a sport or activity that is solely focused on the individual. Guess which one requires the candidate to be a better team player? We’re not saying that a person who loves to play singles tennis is anti-social, but if your job position requires a lot of coordinating with others, a candidate that enjoys team sports might have more experience in working as a team.

Have you gone to “so-and-so” event?

A candidate who knows what community events are happening tends to be more outgoing and socially adept. Working in an office requires a lot of team communication and small talk near the water cooler. Therefore, being able to socialize tends to be a necessary trait among candidates. State fairs, art exhibits, and sport games are good examples of applicable events. Asking the candidate if they attended, and seeing how they answer should give you a better understanding of how socially friendly they are toward others.

What blogs do you read to get inspired?

Keeping up with the current trends requires more than just twiddling your thumbs. A candidate that reads blogs tends to genuinely understand the current market better than those who do not. Dig deep into details and ask them why they read those blogs. A main trait of a true leader is someone who is proactively trying to stay on top of everything, and blogs are one of the best resources to stay up-to-date.