I've always given emphasis on diferent scientific studies while hiring candidates. Once I confronted a similar situation when we met a soccer-fan in a candidate. We asked him to do a presentation on soccer and he took that opportunity and in front of 50 others, made a presentation on soccer, relating it to his job profile. He demonstrated strategies used in the game and co-related the field with IT companies. This impressed me and we immediately hired him.
Analytical skills prove the real worth of candidates. To a question like “What’s the approximate number of vehicles in X city”, the candidate can roughly estimate it by finding out the degree of population in that city and calculate accordingly.
What is essential is to think of possible solutions rather than give a hurried ‘I don’t know’, for an answer. Similarly, I have an aversion to candidates who quit jobs on the pretext of money. In the long run money really doesn’t give job satisfaction. Money should not be the key driver; it has to be career progression. We once had a candidate who had quit his earlier job on the look out for more money. Needless to say we did not hire him.