"One thing that people don’t know about you and not listed on your LinkedIn profile..."
When a social media manager from VeryBriefly, a marketing news website that "covers stories about successful people and businesses" reached out to me via LinkedIn and asked if I'd be willing to participate in an email interview, I was happy to oblige.
I had a good sense of the questions I'd be asked based on what I was told about the publication in the initial "pitch".
And if we're being honest, I've been interviewed enough times to have "stock answers" prepared for the most commonly-asked questions.
But the "one thing that people don't know about you" question was a pleasant surprise.
It was unexpected, so it made me stop and really think about my answer.
And while my response in this case might not have been fascinating, it was authentic.
If you ask typical questions in a typical way, you shouldn't be surprised when you get typical responses.
But ask an original question (or a typical question in a way that's different enough to make somebody stop and really think about their response), and their answers might surprise you.
There are valuable insights to be gained from unexpected questions.
Marketers, market researchers, and people (like me) who aren't natural networkers and sometimes struggle to engage in "small talk" with strangers, take note.
P.S. If you're curious about my "one thing" or about the other questions I was asked (and how I answered them), the interview is available here.