Curveball questions reveal more about candidates

If someone was to ask you to describe the sky without using colours what would you say?

Should someone ask you a question like that the chances are that you are in a job interview – as new research has found that more than half of recruiters use ‘curveball’ questions.

Fri, 27 Jun 2014 by HR Grapevine


The research, by Foosle.com, polled 500 employers and over 1,000 UK adults, and 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%).

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.

“Asking a particular type of question can be a great way to get an insight to a candidate’s personality – as well as showing how they react to the unexpected, which is arguably an important skill for almost any job. We also think that a well-timed curveball question is a brilliant way to add a little extra pressure or to make the candidate feel more at ease, depending on how the interview’s going – it’s all in what you’re asking and the delivery."

When asked about their favourite curveball questions, recruiters’ answers ranged far and wide –from ‘Imagine you are in a plane falling from the sky without a parachute - what is good about it?’ to ‘If you were an elephant what would you do with your trunk?’. You can see how these might provoke unusual answers from candidates.

To help recruiters come up with the questions that could reveal applicants’ inner most personality Foosle have come up with a Curveball Question generator, which can be found here.

Rennie said: “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.”