Interview with a Programmer – Proust Questionnaire

list of questions

The Proust Questionnaire is named after Marcel Proust – the writer. The list of questions was not created by him, but popularized by his answers and eventually resurrected as a common interview guide. I collect questions as a hobby, and these are great additions.

As an exercise in writing, and in thinking, I’ll provide my answers here. I hope you enjoy what I have to say.

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Happiness is like a good cup of coffee – it’s not just about reaching the last drop, but savoring every sip along the way. And if I can share that cup with good company, that’s the perfect blend of happiness for me.
  2. What is your greatest fear? I fear ending up on a deserted island with only a volleyball for company. So, let’s keep the social circles intact, shall we?
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I try to keep my inner critic on a strict diet – nobody needs that kind of negativity in their lives. Let’s serve up some self-love instead!
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Selfishness is like a bad haircut – it’s noticeable from a mile away, and nobody wants to be caught sporting it.
  5. Which living person do you most admire? I’ve got a list of virtual mentors longer than my grocery receipt. It’s like having a buffet of inspiration – why settle for just one dish?
  6. What is your greatest extravagance? When it comes to splurging, I’m guilty of treating my taste buds to the VIP section. Fine dining is my weakness, and I’m not even sorry about it.
  7. What is your current state of mind? Picture a sunshine emoji doing cartwheels – that’s my current state of mind: optimistic and doing flips of joy.
  8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patience is a virtue, they say. But let’s be real, waiting in line is overrated – I’m all about that express lane in life!
  9. On what occasion do you lie? Only when I’m auditioning for a role in a spy movie. Honesty is my superpower, but a little white lie can save the day sometimes, right?
  10. What do you most dislike about your appearance? They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if I could change one thing, I’d love to have a built-in snack dispenser. Now, that’s what I call convenient!
  11. Which living person do you most despise? Ain’t nobody got time for hate. Let’s spread love like confetti instead!
  12. What is the quality you most like in a person? Honesty is like a good joke – it’s best when it’s not forced. And a sprinkle of humor? That’s the cherry on top!
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? If my words were a playlist, they’d be on repeat more often than my favorite song. But hey, at least I keep things familiar, right? Maybe in the future, AI can listen to us all day, and give us a weekly digest of how to improve our speech along with a list of overused phrases.

These are my answers, and I hope they help you get a better idea of who I am. One of the most interesting applications of these queries is in fiction writing, to help build realistic characters. Creating worlds with living identities is an art, and characterization questionnaires are a helpful tool in adding depth.

I plan to continually return to this post and update my answers over time.