20 Creative Interview Questions (With Tips and Example Answers)
Updated March 10, 2023
Although questions about job history and experience are a standard part of every interview, creative interview questions can showcase an applicant's unique skills, mindset and personality. Employers may use an unconventional question to relax a candidate and get more honest answers, but an unexpected question can also make many people nervous. Practicing responses to a variety of creative interview questions can help prepare you to answer questions in a way that best reflects your assets. In this article, we share 20 creative interview questions with tips and sample answers.
Creative interview questions with example answers
1. If you were a dessert, what dessert would you be?
This question can be used to determine how you see yourself, as well as your ability to think creatively. A good answer to this style of question will include detailed reasoning for the answer you choose. If a question has a humorous tone, your answer can establish a rapport with the interviewer.
Example: "If I were any dessert, I would be a strawberry shortcake. Good strawberry shortcake has distinct layers with different textures that all work together. I have strong values that I can build upon with my different interests and experiences, so my family life could be the biscuit and my hobbies could be the cream, with my accomplishments as the strawberry."
2. What is your usual order at a diner?
This question is generally aimed at helping a candidate relax and show their personality. Your answer could be direct or include anecdotes and stories that display your conversational skills.
Example: "I like to keep my order simple: eggs, bacon, hash browns and a black coffee. It's consistent and delicious, which is all I want in a diner. It might not be my favorite meal, but it's the best meal for the occasion."
3. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is another question that aims to see your priorities and the way you make decisions. Your answer should display the interests and values that are most important to you. Consider picking a book that has a particular meaning, or something related to the job you are interviewing for.
Example: "If I could only read one book from now on, I would choose The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I would want the book to be poetry so I can develop new meanings that relate to my life, even if I am reading the same poems. Emily Dickinson is my favorite poet, and her full collection of poems is long enough to keep me entertained for a while."
4. What was the last gift you gave someone?
For questions that rely on memory, take a moment to think carefully instead of sharing the first idea that comes to mind. This question could showcase your personal values or your relationships with others.
Example: "I like to give experiences as gifts instead of things. I took my sister skydiving for her birthday a few weeks ago. I would never have done it by myself, but she has always wanted to experience it together."
5. What is an unpopular opinion you hold?
Your response to this question could show your persuasiveness or uniqueness. Keep your answer lighthearted and avoid controversial topics.
Example: "I like fruit on pizza. Pineapple, pear chunks and apple slices should be on every pizza parlor menu. I know a lot of people think it's gross, but pizza should be as customizable as I want."
6. What advice would you give to your former boss?
This question provides the employer insight into a candidate's past working relationships. Focus on aspects of your previous manager that you admired, and consider what traits you hope your new boss will have.
Example: "My previous boss gave very thorough feedback, and congratulated us on our successes. My advice would be to keep holding biweekly check-ins with her employees, as I grew a lot as a professional during those meetings. If I had to make a change, I would focus more time on communicating with other teams."
7. How many footballs could fit in this room?
An employer asking this question is likely not looking for a correct answer. Instead, this style of question shows your logical reasoning skills. Consider asking clarifying questions as you explain your thought process.
Example: "First, I'd need to know the dimension of the room, so I'll guess that this is about 10 feet tall, 12 feet long, and 10 feet wide. I can multiply the cubic feet in the office by an estimate of how many footballs can fit in one cubic foot. Do I know the exact size of the football?"
8. What was your best day at work?
This question can display your accomplishments and values.
Example: "My best day at work so far was probably the day after my first promotion. I was extremely excited when I got the news, but I was even more moved by my coworkers congratulating me the next day. Seeing the positive impact I was making in my position made me feel confident in my future success and proud to be part of a team."
9. Which year of your life would you like to relive?
You can use this question to provide insight into special experiences that you might not have had a chance to display in other parts of the interview. Reflecting on your past can also help you share your motivations and proudest moments with your interviewer.
Example: "I would love to relive the year I completed college. After we graduated, many of my friends moved to different parts of the world to pursue their dreams, so I would enjoy having everyone together. I also think I would have had more fun writing my dissertation if I had known I would eventually get it published."
10. Which superpowers would you choose?
When responding to this question, consider what superpower would be most useful to the position you are applying for. As with most of these questions, be sure to explain your reasoning to show critical thinking skills.
Example: "I would choose the power of telekinesis. I would never have to worry about traffic on my commute or finding the correct filing folder again!"
11. What websites do you read?
This question can help your employer assess if you are well-informed on your industry. Be honest with your response and relate your answer back to your goals within their company.
Example: "I enjoy reading blogs about science. Reading about new innovations and discoveries about nature inspires me to be curious about the world and the work that I do."
12. If you were an animal, what would you be?
This type of question can be used to see if your characteristics would fit in well with the company culture or the requirements of this position. When answering this question, show originality and explain the traits you share with your chosen animal.
Example: "I would be a honeybee because I love being part of a team. I am very focused on my work, especially if it is for a good cause."
13. Would you rather have a personal chef or a personal trainer?
Usually when an employer asks you to choose between two options, they are paying the most attention to your explanation. Either choice could provide the basis for a strong answer as long as you remain focused on which of your traits you would like to highlight.
Example: "I would rather have a personal chef. It would be fun to taste new recipes and would save me so much time cooking. If I had a personal chef, I could devote more of my energy toward learning new skills and practicing my hobbies."
14. What would you title your autobiography?
This question allows you to assess your values and accomplishments in a way that shares your personality. One way to answer this question is by thinking of your future goals or themes of your career.
Example: "The title of my autobiography would probably reference my family and friends. I might choose to name it The People I Call Home because my relationships in work and in life are very important to me."
15. If you could have dinner with any two people from history, dead or alive, who would you choose?
You can use this question to share the traits that you most admire in others. This question can give employers a good sense of your character and how you would work with others.
Example: "I would choose to have dinner with Frida Kahlo because I admire her art, and Marie Antoinette because I think the three of us would have very interesting conversations. Observing the way two strong personalities from different cultures interact would teach me so much."
16. Would you rather be a wedding cake or a fortune cookie?
This open-ended question allows you to showcase your creativity. You can decide the context for the question as well as what the answers mean.
Example: "I would be a fortune cookie because I love surprises and new challenges."
17. Do you prefer to make plans or be spontaneous?
Consider why you would choose one answer instead of the other and apply your reasoning to your job.
Example: "I usually prefer to make plans ahead of time. I find that having an organized schedule makes it easier for me to be spontaneous sometimes without impacting my responsibilities."
18. Who is your role model and why?
Consider mentioning a prominent person in your field or a person in your life who has made significant accomplishments.
Example: "My role model is my high school art teacher who regularly showed her art at local galleries. She has pursued a career where she can teach her passion in addition to doing it as a hobby. One of my goals is to create a side business inspired by my career."
19. If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?
Use this question to reference your personal goals. Think creatively about cities or countries that would suit your interests and ideals. If possible, relate your choice to why you are interested in the position you are applying for.
Example: "I would love to live in a port city like Seattle. I enjoy living in a diverse community with exciting activities in the city. I do my best work when I have a variety of ideas and projects to inspire me."
20. How do you relax?
It can be helpful for an employer to know that their employees have healthy ways to relax from the stress of work. Your answer to this question can reflect your views on work-life balance and help identify commonalities between you and the interviewer.
Example: "I enjoy baking as a hobby, it helps me manage stress and create a treat for myself or my friends. If I've had a hard day I can knead dough to release frustration or focus completely on the small details of decorating a cake."
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