With a growing pool of talent to choose from, more and more recruiters are putting pressure on unsuspecting candidates by throwing ‘curveball’ questions during a job interview, new research from Foosle.com has found.
The research, which polled 500 employers and over 1,000 UK adults, found that more than half (56%) use curveball questions to test a number of different candidate skills: from thinking on their feet (58%), to creative thinking (52%) to testing the personality of the candidate (30%).
By incorporating difficult and unsettling questions into the standard job interview, recruiters are better able to uncover a candidate’s capability to think outside the box and perform effectively under pressure.
When it comes to firing out challenging questions, it seems men have a harder bowl – male recruiters are much more likely than their female counterparts to serve up a curveball to unsuspecting candidates (61% of men compared to 49% of women).
The findings also revealed that jobseekers in London are likely to face a tougher time: employers in the capital emerged as the most challenging interviewers in the UK, with more than two thirds (69%) favouring a curveball compared to those in the South East (41%) and North West (53%).
Despite the added pressure, one in five candidates admitted that curveball questions make the interview more interesting and some even admitted to liking the challenge that they bring (15%).
When asked about their favourite curveball questions, recruiters’ answers ranged far and wide – from downright personal to the whimsical and wacky:
- How do you cut a cake in 8 pieces with 3 strokes?
- How many bricks are there in the world?
- If you were an elephant what would you do with your trunk?
- Imagine you are in a plane falling from the sky without a parachute; what is good about it?
- How many times can you wrap the earth if everyone spread their hands?
- Describe the sky without using colours.
- What colour would match our business and why?
- If you weren’t you, who would you be?
- Zombie or vampire?
- The Government has decided to change the law so that we drive on the right and you have been appointed project manager, how would you go about it?
Alistair Rennie, Managing Director at Foosle said: “Recruiters are increasingly being faced with standardised answers to their questions during a job interview – so now, more than ever, there’s a strong argument for throwing in a curveball to understand more about the person behind the CV and test a candidate’s ability to think on their feet.
“We know it can be tough to think of unique questions to ask candidates, which is why we’ve created the Curveball Question Generator – a fun and light-hearted way for recruiters to gain inspiration for those more disruptive questions. Job seekers shouldn’t prepare only for common interview questions, they should anticipate less conventional ones too.”
Foosle’s Curveball Question generator can be found at www.foosle.com/search/curveball. The generator produces a question at random for employers to use during the interview process.