Important notice - We are aware of a scam where people are impersonating CMD Recruitment to offer jobs via WhatsApp & Telegram. This is a scam, CMD Recruitment will never contact new candidates via these methods. Any legitmate offer from CMD Recruitment would be made via a telephone call.

CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident
CMD Ident

Leading Recruitment Agency in Wiltshire | CMD Recruitment

Discover your next job or find your ideal employee with CMD Recruitment, the largest and most established recruitment agency in Wiltshire and Bath.

Curveball Questions for Interviews

Curveball Questions for Interviews

June 12, 2023

Preparing for an interview is one of the best ways to succeed and leave the interview panel with an excellent impression of who you are. But while you might be able to prepare for the standard questions about your education and experience, it’s more difficult to prepare for curveball questions.

These questions are designed to make you think on your feet and show the interviewer how you tackle difficult problems. There usually isn’t a right or wrong answer, but they simply want to know how you respond to unusual questions or difficult challenges on the spot.

Why do interviewers ask curveball questions?

There are many reasons for asking curveball questions, including:

  1. They want to know if you can think on your feet
  2. They want to catch you off guard
  3. They want an answer that cannot be rehearsed
  4. They want to make the interview process more challenging
  5. They want to get to know you better

It might feel like a mean move to ask curveball questions, but they aren’t something to be afraid of. The important thing is to stay calm and just answer to the best of your ability. You might think of a better answer later in the day, but what they are testing is your ability to think on your feet.

Curveball Questions for Interviews CMD Recruitment

What are examples of curveball questions?

The nature of curveball questions are that they are typically unrelated to the job role or anything else you have been talking about. They come out of the blue and are completely unexpected. This could include questions like:

  • If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
  • Would you prefer to be liked or feared?
  • Would you rather have a puppy-sized hippo or a hippo-sized puppy?
  • How many pound coins would you need to stack up to reach the top of this 14 floor building?
  • Are there more doors or wheels in the world?
  • Where is your favourite place in the world?
  • If you could have lunch with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose?
  • What is your biggest source of motivation?
  • Do you have a secret goal, dream or ambition?
  • How do you think you would survive a zombie apocalypse?

As you can see, these questions have nothing to do with your ability to do your job, but they do say a lot about your personality. They aren’t designed to catch you out or to prove you wrong, but they can help to reveal a lot about your personality.

Curveball Questions for Interviews CMD Recruitment

How do you approach these questions?

You won’t know what they might ask you, but you can practise answering some common curveball questions. Here is our advice for tackling these kinds of questions in an interview setting:

1. Take your time

Don’t rush your answer. Take a moment to think about it. This is something that your interviewer is looking for: do you rush through a bad answer, or are you confident enough to take a moment to think about it. 

2. Think about what they are really asking

Are they trying to get you to think creatively on the spot? Are they looking for examples of your numeracy skills? Do they want to know if you can be honest and open? Consider the question and what they might really be looking for in your answer.

3. Show your personality

The motivation for asking curveball questions will often come down to this idea that they simply want to get to know who you really are. Many candidates appear very rigid and rehearsed in an interview setting, so these questions are intended to make you let your guard down. Relax when you answer these types of questions and allow yourself to let your personality show.

Curveball Questions for Interviews CMD Recruitment

4. Remember, there are no right answers

The interview panel might have a type of answer in mind that they want to hear, but there aren’t really any truly right or wrong answers. This is unlikely to be the deciding factor that helps the panel make a final choice, so you can afford to just let your personality shine through and answer with confidence. You could even try to see the fun in it.

5. Don’t reject the question

Some people dislike curveball questions so much that they will simply say “I don’t know” and try to move on. Shutting down and saying that you don’t know the answer is a poor response and it should be avoided. You might not like thinking on your feet, but you need to show that you can make the effort when you are asked to do things you find difficult.

6. Mirror their behaviour

You can get a good idea about what the interviewer is looking for by looking at their body language and behaviour. Do they take these curveball questions very seriously, or are they having fun with this? Take their lead and mirror their behaviour so that you can capture the right tone when you deliver your answer.

Closing thoughts

Curveball questions are designed to catch you off guard and let the interviewer know how you manage when you have to think on your feet. You can practise answering them to an extent, but you won’t know exactly what is coming. Try to take these in your stride and don’t stress too much over your answer. Remember, they aren’t looking for a right or wrong answer, they are looking for insight into who you are and how you approach problems in life. Relax, and let your personality shine through.

Back to Blog