If you’re an engineer, chances are you’ve been asked this during an interview. Off topic questions are becoming more common in the interview process as employers seek to determine the cultural fit of a candidate – which in some cases has eclipsed finding the most skilled.
Not to be confused with brain benders that became popular in recent years for evaluating problem solving skills and IQ tests, off topic questions are designed to better understand the candidate’s style and personality. Will they thrive or thrash in our environment?
Let’s face it – cultural fit is just as critical to potential employees as the workplace has become an important social community in our lives. As both parties seek to get it right, consider adding some off topic questions to your conversation. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sports – what do you like to play, what do you like to watch?
- Perfect vacation?
- What makes you laugh?
- Favorite movie, book?
- What frustrates you?
- Enjoy being alone, in small groups or crowds?
- What do you do to unwind?
- What energizes you?
Learn more in Bloomberg Business Week article Compatible, Not Just Capable.