Yesterday I did the final interview for a position we're hiring for on Active.com. I pulled one from the Google playbook, and toward the end of the session we had dialog that went something like this:
[Me] "Tell me something you think I don't know"
[Candidate] "What, like about me?"
[Me] "No. I mean some historical fact or process or something."
[Candidate] "Oh. Well...do you know how nuclear fission works?"
[Me] "No man. Tell me about it."
The candidate then described how nuclear fission works. His interest had been piqued by the recent disaster in Japan, so the topic was fresh in his mind. But this was an impressive response to a discussion that could have gone down any number of paths. I love to see this kind of creativity and interest in how things work in people we look to hire.