The dreaded one-on-one job interview. The potential boss sitting on one side of the table and the potential employee on the other. We've all been there. In this more traditional approach to job interviews, the boss dictates the conversation and asks the candidate a series of curly questions to weed out the best of the best. This more traditional approach may seem like a great way to discern the good candidates from the bad. However, there are non-traditional job interview approaches and tactics that can give the potential employer a better idea of what the potential employee has to offer the job position, as well as the overall company.


Hypotheticals and scenarios can be a very engaging and insightful way to determine a candidate's ability to be innovative, creative. It can also effectively test their 'people skills' and capacity to navigate tricky situations Through the incorporation of hypotheticals and scenarios into a job interview, it can reveal a candidate's ability to think laterally, resolve problems and conflicts, and improvise spontaneously. These are all vital professional skills, as the candidate will be constantly met with challenges during their work life, and their ability to diffuse these situations will be valuable for the company.

Behavioural Interview Questions

Traditionally, job interviews are based heavily on cognitive questions that test the technical skills of the interviewee and their professionalism. However, it is also vital to understand the attitudes, behaviours and personality of a candidate, to determine whether or not they would make positive contributions to the role, as well as the overall company culture. A candidate who is technically proficient, but would negatively impact team dynamics, would not be considered an ideal candidate. That is why it is necessary to test a range of factors and traits of the individual.  For reference, 'Applicant Stack', provides some examples of questions that test an interviewee's past performance and behaviours, as well as their ability to interact with others.

Conversational Job Interviews

Job interviews are typically one-sided in the sense that the interviewer poses the vast majority of the questions, while the interviewee is expected to just respond to the prompts. When you adopt a more conversational style for the job interview, you open up the floor for discussion to the interviewee, so they can express themselves freely. A more conversational style job interview will help to reveal a potential candidate's motivation and intentions, their passions, concerns expectations, individual personality, and so on. It also tests their social skills and ability to hold a conversation, which are vital skills in almost every industry.

Traditional interviews are a good way to gauge the technical abilities of an interviewee and their ability to fulfil the requirements. However, when you supplement these cognitive questions with hypotheticals and behavioural interview questions in a more conversational setting, employers are able to build a more comprehensive view of a candidate and determine their suitability on addition factors, such as cultural fit and passion. Less traditional interview methods can enrich the insights gained regarding the interviewee and ensure that most capable person overall is hired.