I understand. Sorry about that…I tend to think too much. We’ll see what happens.
These aren’t designed to be trick questions but “vague” questions are sometime needed because ALL of the situations can’t be addressed specifically without the question being 10 pages long on its own.
It’s up to YOU to decided if someone meets the requirement for YOU. As long as you think it out reasonably, you will be OK even if the investigator turns up something that HE thinks should have been reported. As long as you can reasonably defend the reasons that you didn’t report the contact it will just be added to the report.
Let THEM decide they are no caveats. I visited a friend in Canada and was asked about it. I provided all the information I had. even her CV as she wanted me to proofread it for her. At that point the investigator said, “No that’s okay we don’t have to go that far.” So unless you offer everything someone may believe you have something to hide. Bore them with all the details you can find. Let THEM say it is of no consequence. That’s their roll, not yours.
My point is, the 3-letter I interviewed with didn’t have any caveats, specifics, etc so I put everyone down, no matter how minor (like someone I used to see in Arlington when I went to a restaurant). I just don’t want to be called out on the question when hiding something wasn’t my intent.
The “common interest” is a catch all. If you went to lunch with someone you must have had a common interest. Some folks argue that such questioning is invasive and goes beyond the needs of the employer. Maybe so, but by the time they look up my rear end with a 2 foot tube and waterboard my third grade teacher for details, I figure why hold anything back. Sure it’s personal, sure it’s demeaning. But it’s not embarrassing and it’s not something that can be used to blackmail me.
I didn’t realize we were still waterboarding teachers… ahh, the good old days return… (please - hold the comments! I am just joking!!)