Here's a big hint on what I ask on the initial CFI check ride oral.
I have an advantage over FAA inspectors in that I see the weakness on Private and Commercial check rides. These weaknesses can be traced back to the applicants CFI not having a good understand of the subject matter to begin with. If the CFI can't teach it, does the student understand it? Unfortunately not.
What I will do is ask a CFI applicant to teach one or more of these problem areas on the CFI check ride. All of these problems areas align with the CFI PTS. I am hoping that by testing these areas on the CFI check ride we can eliminate the problems on the private and commercial level.
Someone accused me of asking trick questions on a check ride. I found that interesting because I've been asking the same type of questions for years. Through some investigation, I discovered that It wasn't that I asked trick questions but rather I ask scenario based questions.
This applicant was use to being asked simple rote type questions for example, "What equipment is required for a daytime, VFR flight?" A scenario based question I would ask might be "What would you do if during the preflight you discovered that the attitude indicator was inop?" Asking this type of question can draw out knowledge of systems, required equipment, inop equipment and spark a discussion on risk management. That question can cover a lot of subject matter and actually make the check ride go quicker. The bad part is if the applicant is lacking in knowledge, the check ride can go south pretty quickly.