We asked CMO Club Member what outside the box interview questions they like to ask prospective hires and why?” See what they had to say here:

Muriel Lotto, Head of Global Brand & Marketing, Western Union

If I am the one interviewing:

At the start of the interview, I ask a candidate ‘what 3 things would you like me to remember you by at the end of the interview?’, it helps identify people who are authentic and true to themselves throughout the interview as I sometimes find that by the end of the interview the person has not really demonstrated the 3 things they wanted me to know them for

I also ask ‘imagine a seesaw in a park with 2 seats, on one is written pace and on the other perfection, where do you go and seat and why?’

And I also ask ‘ If you have to choose between doing the right thing and doing the things right, which would you choose?’

If I am the one being interviewed, I always always ask ‘how are decision made around here?,’ my experience is that the answer to this question tells me a lot about how the organization operates and how many cooks there are in the kitchen!

Luis Casado, Head of EMEA Print Marketing, HP

Not really an out of the box interview question, but I always ask for an initiative that started with a business challenge and a customer insight and led to a business outcome. When people can articulate the story well that’s more than half of the interview.


David Minifie, Chief Experience Officer & EVP, Corporate Strategy, Centene Corporation

If you were to update your CV right, what would you include in the “interests” section?



Doug Zarkin, VP, CMO, Pearle Vision

To borrow a phrase from one of the originator of the reality television genre MTV’s The Real World, I like to use a specific question to find out “what happens when people (or in this the potential team addition) stops being polite … and start getting real.” It usually comes down to one of two, depending on how the dialogue is going;

  1. What is your favorite curse word?  I use this if the person I am interviewing won’t open up, or is for whatever reason really nervous. It’s an instant humanizer and If they come back and claim not to curse, I know they are “full of @#$”
  2. Assume dress code doesn’t matter, but you had to only wear one outfit to work each and every day regardless of the day, time of year, who was in the meeting… what would you wear to work each and every day? There is no right or wrong answer, but when you dig into how they arrived at their choice it gives you a good idea of the type of thinker they are. How they factor in things like weather, big meetings etc.. Do they pick something with layers or do they go right for the t-shirt and shorts.

Mark Hanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Richline Group, Inc.

What do you really want to be when you grow up?



Alan Hart, Chair of Research and Virtual Roundtables, The CMO Club

What was your first job? What did you spend money on back then? (Looking for mowing grass, grocery store jobs, etc.) it helps with a few areas – early work ethic established, customer service skills, and understanding goals at an early age.


What interview questions do you like to ask, or what’s a great question you’ve been asked?  Tell us in the comments below.

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