Interviewing is a skill, and in the typical format of 30 minutes, a very challenging one.
Although in a perfect world candidates would perform the job and you’d be able to observe their behavior in an environment where a bystander, someone rushing to the elevator, was actually the interviewer, these two questions have proven very helpful in the typical 30 min format.
1) Can you teach me something?
Regardless of how the interview goes, it would be great if you learned something. Also, since this question tends to be unexpected if they’re flustered you can see how they react and you can learn something new about them outside of how they’d perform at the role.
And a bonus, as the interviewee it shows that you’re interested in learning.
2) Can you name four people who’s career you’ve helped?
This is inspired by Adam Grant, Wharton professor and reputable psychologist. The idea is that someone who is more likely to be a “giver” would say four people who held a similar or junior role to the person, and the taker would say four people who held senior roles.
If you’re interviewing or being interviewed, good luck!