When I receive a call from a recruiter or such (e.g. a seller etc.) they usually start by presenting themselves and thereafter glide into asking me questions. I've concluded that those can be split up into three stages: courteous, complimentary and investigative.
The first one is manageable; as is the second, if yet slightly annoying since its aim's to massage my ego and soften me into compliance to whatever crappy rest product of Mr. Cow they're about to lay upon me.
The last part's target is to obtain sensitive insight about my situation that I'd perhaps not share if requested directly. However, it still might be filtered out by analyzing a longer reply to a wide, open question. Examples of such two types could be as follows.
How long have you been with your current company?
Do you live close to Stockholm's central parts?
Have you worked developing in TypeScript?
So, how do you feel about your current project?
Can you tell me what you would like to consider in the future?
What are your thoughts on a prospectively new employer?
Usually, when faced with the wide kind, I refuse to provide an answer inferring information I don't want to share. The problem's that being silent, saying "next question, please", dodging by "can't say" - all that leads sooner or later to annoyance or infected situation. And in the end, I want to give some information as it might be beneficial to me.
So I started to use the following phrase.
Oh, that's a very wide question. Could you be more concrete?
I have no sense of how it's being perceived by a native speaker, though. I considered terms like narrow it down, be more specific, ask to the point (as a substitute for be more concrete). I also played with broad, abstract, fuzzy (instead of broad). Didn't arrive in a satisfactory spot, though.
The message I'm trying to convey is to point out that I see through the trick and won't step into that pile of poo. However, and this is the tricky part for me, I also don't want to insult the counterpart by accusing them of trying said trick (since, humbly regarded, I can't know for sure). I also want to provide them with information as long as it's something that is okay to ask and not some kind of excavation on my inner considerations.
After googling, consulting both Webster and Oxford, checking a bunch of blogs on interpersonal relations, I arrived at the conclusion that I need to ask the question here. Which terms would be polite and inviting enough to encourage inquires but formal and strict enough to tell them to respect the boundaries?