There are many. In the media, it is often described as the “Gotcha” question — where the reporter springs upon the unwary target a query which cannot be answered without placing one in a negative light.
Or the lawyer’s cross-examination barrage beginning with, “So, Mr. so-and-so, Yes or No — did you ever stop beating your wife?” (Such a question, of course, is rather laughable and should be immediately objected to; but the “fun” of the question is that the answer becomes a quandary: If you answer, “Yes”, it means that you are admitting to beating your wife but that you merely stopped at some point; if you answer, “No”, it means that you continue to beat your wife. Either way, you have shot yourself in the proverbial foot). And there are many others — of “trick” questions to get you into the proverbial hot water.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job, the Standard Forms contain many and multiple trick questions. They may not be intended to actually trick you, but the manner, form and content of your answer may become problematic in the way in which they are answered.
Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that the “trick” question doesn’t do what it is meant to do: To trick you into answering it in a way which you don’t intend to, or otherwise shouldn’t need to.
Robert R. McGill, Lawyer