Over half of employers fire out ‘curveball’ questions to put interviewees to the test

Aspire To Aspire

Job interviews are nerve wracking at the best of times, but new research from job site Foosle.com has found that candidates are now facing tougher interviews than ever as ‘curveball’ questions are becoming a more popular tactic for shortlisting candidates.

The research, which polled 500 employers and over 1,000 UK adults, revealed that more than half (56%) of employers ask curveball questions during job interviews to test a number of different candidate skills: from how well they can think on their feet (58%), to creative thinking (52%) and personality (30%).

By incorporating challenging and unsettling questions into the standard interview process, employers 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 facing 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 of candidates admitted that curveball questions make the interview more interesting and some even admitted to liking the challenge that they bring (15%).

Among the strangest curveball questions candidates had been asked were:

1) Do you know why it rains so much in Manchester?
2) If you were an animal what would you be?
3) Do you support the invasion of Iraq?
4) Explain to a Martian how to make toast.
5) Have you ever stolen stationary?
6) How long do you expect to live?
7) How many planes are currently airborne in the US?
8) How would you price an everlasting light bulb for sale
9) Where is the pressure greatest on the inside of a full milk bottle?
10) How would you call the fire brigade if you had no phone access?

Alistair Rennie, Managing Director at Foosle said:

“Job interviews are always nerve wracking and as competition between candidates becomes fiercer, there’s a real need to be prepared for almost any question. We want to help people to think outside the box when it comes to the things they might be asked at a job interview and anticipate the more unconventional questions which might crop up. While there’s only so much you can prepare, a visit to our Curveball Question Generator will help you to get a flavour of what you could face during your next interview – which could make all the difference to landing that job…!”

Foosle’s Curveball Question generator can be found here.


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