Tough Interview Questions

When we ask the questions, it is an altogether different affair. Our primary goal in interviewing a candidate is to break their will. We often use Reid Technique interrogations to do this, in order to extract a confession from the candidate that he or she should never have applied for the job. We Tweet our best sessions, and keep a few examples on this page for show.

We’ve modified the Reid Technique a little, in order to suit the job-interview context but the principle aims of assessing the candidate’s credibility and the total domination of their will remain intact.

The Modified Reid Technique

The candidate is already stressed by the interview which provides a splendid opportunity to immediately undermine their self-esteem by pointing out flaws in their manners or how they comport themselves.

If a candidate insists on what appears to be total honesty with us, we will throw them off balance in a way that convinces them that sometimes it would be better for them to tell a little white lie or plead the fifth, while providing a hint that we might be open to a bribe. Their reactions to this will help us later assess their veracity.

Although we are calling out to Mary in the next office, we are looking the candidate directly in the eye as we speak with a cold stare that betrays no emotion. Sometimes though a candidate’s personal habits disgust us to the extent that we dismiss them literally out-of-hand and ask for another.

A sudden change of focus, laser-targetting the slightest flaw in a candidate’s response, unnerves them further.

The setting of impossible tasks puts them into a Kobayashi Maru intended to provoke an emotional response.

Using this technique we find that new-hires tend to re-gain their own emotional responses after about four years on the job, after which we ‘retire’ them and hire fresh meat.


When we’re being interviewed we prefer to use the techniques of cross-examination on the interviewer. As we also document on these pages:

Interview Questions
The Relocation Question
The JIRA Question
The CAPA Question
Senior Engineer Interview Skills

Before and After the Interview
BJFH Goes Looking For Work
Agile Recruitment
Recruitment Agent Meltdown
The Art of Skype
HR Calls Candidate for Interview – Gets a Bollocking
BJFH Turns the Tables – Get’s Fired