Do you know what the current headline news is?

  | James Innes

     

Do you know what the current headline news is?

Alternative and related questions:

What news story has interested you recently?

The meaning behind the question:

Apart from a handful of professions, for example journalism, this question is likely to have precious little to do with your ability to perform the job – unless it’s your particular industry or line of work that’s been in the news. Instead, the question is more about the interviewer trying to understand what sort of a person you are – how much active interest you take in the world around you and the society you live in. This gives the interviewer greater insight into your character and helps them to assess how well you will fit in with your prospective future colleagues and with their organisational culture. The interviewer might also want to get your opinion on the matter – so as to test your analytical skills.

Your answer:

“No” is not an option. Whether or not you’re interested in current affairs you need to make sure you’re reasonably clued up on what’s going on in the world whenever you’re sitting interviews. It’s a simple enough matter to buy a daily newspaper (avoiding the tabloids) or to watch the news on television. Avoid being controversial; avoid saying too much – but do volunteer a brief opinion on the matter if appropriate to do so. As well as this being a ‘formal’ question that might come up at interview, the interviewer could easily make reference to some newsworthy topic in the ‘small talk’ phase before – or, indeed, after – an interview. If you haven’t got the faintest idea what they’re talking about then it’s not going to make a good impression.

Example:

I like to keep abreast of current affairs – mainly via the BBC News website, which gives me a thorough, but balanced, overview. The major news at the moment remains the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. It’s a tragic situation and it’s very hard to see what the long-term solution is going to be, so deep-rooted are the problems.

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