An interview can be a stressful and nerve wracking experience at the best of times, but this only increases when the interviewer throws you a curve ball. For many, this appears cruel and extremely unnecessary, but there is logic behind the madness, and you can use it to your advantage.
How many basketballs can you fit inside this room? If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you escape?
These questions may sound ridiculous, but as the UK employment rate is rising, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for employers to understand who is the very best. Employers often want to gauge your personality, and see if you can be easily thrown.
Many people spend hours preparing for an interview, and although this is completely necessary, it can sometimes result in answers sounding too rehearsed, and therefore the interviewer may want to shake things up a little bit and see if they can make you sweat.
How to respond to a curve ball question:
You must give the question a go. Even if you feel caught off guard, and think the question is completely bizarre, you must answer. You can express surprise at the question by saying “I wasn’t expecting that,” or “that’s a good question, let me think,” which will also buy you a few seconds to wrap your head around the question and how you are going to respond.
Essentially, your answer will provide an insight into how you approach your work. Be creative and enthusiastic, and enjoy it. If you can prove your ability to think on your feet, and deal with tricky situations, this has the potential trump your highly polished CV. (For more information on how you can perfect your CV, click here.)
This is particularly common in interviews for sales position and other roles that require improvisation skills and composure under pressure.
Although it might be slightly terrifying to be asked how many bricks there are in the word, no one actually knows the answer to this question. What the employer is looking for is to see how your thought process works and how you then articulate that.
It is normal to feel taken aback when thrown a curve ball. It is important to remember that it is not always a hugely scientific and reasonable answer they are looking for, but it’s the way in which you handle the question and compose yourself.