500 Questions: Tough Questions, Part One

Who is the boss in your family?

Remember to avoid any kind of angry reaction. Allow for the possibility that the interviewer is trying to lure you into saying something without thinking. Smile confidently and respond that you operate on democratic principles with adults making the decisions for what is best for the whole family.

What do you think of the latest news story in yesterday’s paper?

This could be a trick question to show if you are keeping up with the times and are interested in your country’s future. It could also be used illegally to determine your political affiliations, so be wary in your answer. Above all else, be prepared and informed. The interviewer is interested to see if your personality is reflected in both work and outside interests.

Describe a situation where you established independent reasoning.

The interviewer is trying to gauge your motivation, perseverance, and independence. Give a specific example of times when you have had to make decisions based on your own reasoning and rationalization. Show how your independent thought process helped skillfully solve a problem in your work.

What kind of commitment do you intend to give to this position?

The interviewer is trying to determine if you are willing to make a longer-term commitment to the company. Interviewing and training new employees is a tedious and expensive process and only serious contenders will be given true consideration.

What do you think about our current government’s foreign policy?

This question could potentially be illegal if the interviewer is asking it to determine your political preference. However it can also be used to see if you stay on top of current events and are informed. Try to keep your answer neutral.

Describe the characteristics that you admire the most in the people you associate with outside of work.

Who we choose to spend our time with can be very informative about our values, critical thinking process, and personality. List traits that show you have a balanced personality that is reflected in the friends you choose. Keep in mind that the interviewer doesn’t really want to learn about your best friend; he or she wants to learn about the way you speak about them. Choose examples that are positive and commendable.

Have you read anything interesting lately?

Showing that you choose to read indicates to the interviewer that you are active and pursue a variety of interests. Be brief and specific in your response without adding commentary about the author or book either way.