Difficult Interview Questions
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Reporters can use questions that trip you up, if you are not alert to them.  Here are a few.

The False Alternative Example: "Was your decision based on poor judgment or did you just not know?"
Solution:  Ignore the alternatives and focus on your message.  Lead the interviewer rather than allowing him or her to lead you. "The root of your question is motivation..."
The Hypothetical Example: "If __ happens, what will you do?"
Solution: Avoid speculation.  Turn the conversation to a positive point. "I don't have a crystal ball, but… "
The Loaded Preface Example: "Your company has been called inept by the unions. So what are you doing about the layoffs?"
Solution: Try to correct the perception and then move on to the positive. "On the contrary, we..."
The Absent Party Example: "So-and-so has stated that your organization is behind the times..."
Solution:   Don't argue with someone who is not present. Instead of commenting on that specific statement, turn to something else. "I’m not familiar with that remark, but we… "
The Inconsistency Example: "In 1997, you said _____ ; now you're doing ____ . Why the change?"
Solution:   Take an historical perspective. "The environment was different in 2000 and we… "
The Irrelevancy Example: "As President of XYZ Co. and an avid runner, what are you doing about running safety...?"
Solution: Give a bit of information about running and then bridge to your major issues.
Putting Words in Your Mouth Example:  Did you abuse your wife?  Answer:  I have never abused my wife.  Headline:  "CEO says he did not abuse wife."
  Solution: Do not repeat inflammatory words that a reporter might feed to you.  Rather, answer in neutral terms.  "That is a question that I will not dignify with an answer.

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