What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with?
In today’s expanding global economy, it is almost unavoidable that any new hire will be working in some capacity with people from a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.
The last thing companies want to find out is that their new employee is a bigot and treats people differently because of their background. Not only will this cause problems in-house, it can also destroy the firm’s credibility and reputation, depending on how high-up a position he or she is assuming.
However, it isn’t politically correct or at all professional to ask someone if they have a problem with specific groups of people, and even if an interviewer did, the candidate would likely deny it. Instead, many firms try an indirect way of asking the same thing, for example: “What kinds of people do you have difficulties working with?”
By asking this question, the interviewer is subconsciously communicating that the candidate must have a problem working with some kinds of people. This method can be very effective in subtly revealing inner prejudices the potential hire might possess. In contrast, a good candidate will likely name some neutral group of people, like “dishonest employees,” or “perpetual slackers.”