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Unique Interview Practices from Top CEOs

Whether you find yourself on the interviewer or interviewee side of an interview table, wouldn’t it be great to have the ability to climb inside the mind of a successful CEO to prepare for your next interview effectively? Here are 5 unique interview tactics and questions to consider from top CEOs.

Animoto CEO – Brad Jefferson
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

Is there any more direct way to find out exactly what motivates someone? As a candidate, this is a great way to showcase where your passion lies and how it can tie into the quality employee you could be. Think about where your motivation comes from and communicate how it can lead to doing your job successfully. As a CEO, the answer to this type of question obviously provides clarity on where a person’s motivation comes from, but more importantly, gives you, as an employer, the knowledge of what it would take to help motivate a potential employee.

Charles Schwab CEO – Walt Bettinger
The Restaurant Invitation

An offsite restaurant interview isn’t anything outside of the ordinary, but how Bettinger plans for it is. He arrives early and instructs the manager to have the waitstaff deliver the wrong order to the interviewee. What a brilliant way to see how someone reacts when things don’t go as planned. As a candidate, make sure you go into an interview knowing how to respond when something doesn’t go as you envisioned or someone makes a mistake that impacts you. As a CEO, this demonstration proves a multitude of things about your candidate. Are they understanding when a mistake is made? Are they too timid and avoid confronting the mistake to deliver a solution? You’ll find out how they respond to someone else’s blunder.

Zappos CEO – Tony Hsieh
On a scale of 1-10, how weird are you?

When looking at the Core Values of Zappos, it’s no surprise why this question would be in the mix during an interview. As a candidate, it’s important to do the research. This way, you know what the company stands for and what its culture is all about before walking into the interview. As a CEO, this is a great example of incorporating a question about the company’s culture into an interview. The answer can determine if a candidate is more than just a fit for the job, but a value fit for the company.

Barstool Sports CEO – Erika Nardini
Late-Night / Weekend Texts

Candidates can expect a text at 9 pm or on a Sunday morning if interviewing with Barstool Sports. The CEO explains the thought process as wanting to see how long it takes a candidate to respond. She doesn’t necessarily want someone to be thinking about work all of the time but wants to have employees who are thinking all of the time.

HelloFresh CEO – Dominik Richter
Assuming there is only one job that you could apply for (outside of this one) at this stage of your career, where would you apply and why?

A candidate’s answer could uncover other skills, characteristics, or interests they have that can complement the job they are applying to. As a candidate, go into an interview prepared to highlight all of your talents and how they can contribute to the position you’re applying for. As a CEO, know what skills and characteristics will fit the open role best for your company.

What is the most unique interview tactic you’ve experienced or used as a candidate or CEO? Share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn and check out these interview questions you might not expect.