Does your CV pass the 10-second test?

Tough Interview Questions and Answers

What really makes you lose your rag?

Alternative and related questions:

What causes you to lose your temper?
What really makes you angry?
Do you ever lose your cool?

The meaning behind the question:

The gloves are off. This is a very direct and potentially very challenging question. The interviewer will know that they are immediately putting you under pressure with such a question. And that’s very appropriate – because this question is all about pressure, what causes you to feel under pressure and how you react under excessive levels of stress and pressure. Your answer could tell the interviewer a lot about yourself.

Your answer:

This is one question where it would definitely be best not to give a specific example! The interviewer will not be impressed by hearing about the time you stubbed your cigarette out in your manager’s coffee cup before telling them precisely where they could stick their job! Regardless of how volatile your character is, you need to convey an impression of a calm, level-headed individual – and one who remains as such even when the going gets tough. Everybody loses their rag sometimes – including the interviewer sitting opposite you – but it would be a fatal mistake for you to disclose too much about yourself with your answer.


I recognise that losing my temper is very unlikely to achieve anything – in fact getting angry is generally very counterproductive. While the behaviour of others can of course sometimes cause me to feel frustrated or even annoyed, I always focus on remaining calm and finding solutions to the problem at hand. I try to channel any negative feelings into my work because that’s normally the best way of resolving the issue. Stress and pressure are a fact of life and losing your rag won’t fix anything.

The Interview Question & Answer Book

The Interview Question and Answer Book

Take the fear out of your interview and never be stuck for the right answer to even the toughest questions with The Interview Question & Answer Book.

The job market is fierce, competition has never been greater and it's important that you can grab every opportunity for competitive advantage and stay one step ahead. Written by one of the world's leading careers experts and bestselling author of The Interview Book, this definitive guide to questions and answers encourages every job-hunter to think on your feet and express your individuality while supplying ideal responses to interview questions so that you’re seen as the ideal candidate for the job.


Order The Interview Question & Answer Book from Amazon

More tough interview questions and answers


You must surely have more than one weakness?

What character flaws do you have?

How do you handle being criticised?

What really makes you lose your rag?

How did you cope with the most difficult colleague you've ever had?

Are you able to make difficult decisions and tough choices?

Why haven't you achieved more in your career?

What don't you like about this line of work?

Where does your current employer think you are at the moment?

What are your current boss's weaknesses?

What are your current employer's plans for the year ahead?

What reservations do you have about working for us?

You've been out of work for a while. Has it been difficult finding a job?

What's your sickness record like?

What do you think of me as an interviewer?

If you were in my position, what questions would you be asking?

What would be the toughest question I could ask you?

What makes you better than any of the other candidates I'm interviewing?

I think you're overqualified for this job. Don't you?

What will you do if I decide not to hire you?

See this pen? Can you sell it to me?

If you were an animal at the zoo, which animal would you be and why?

If there was a monkey hanging from a chandelier, how would you get it down?

Why don't polar bears eat penguins?

How much water would it take to fill St. Paul's Cathedral?