Ah, the intoxicating smell of fear and tension:
For a bonus amusement, I found a Masters-turned-PhD student, who used to sit in the front row and ask questions every five minutes last year, sitting at the last row with a coffee and browsing the net on his laptop. The PhD effect.
People asking you the question:
Me being a PhD-turned-Masters student, answering this question becomes very tricky. I usually get it as “What-is-your-research-interest”. It’s even trickier if you are being asked that in a class filled with other people. The first time, I tried to use some fancy term (“Varied”) to avoid the answer; another time, I just didn’t answer it and kept the awkward pause going. Another time I had to write it down on a sheet of paper that was being passed around the class, and against my name and email address I shamelessly wrote a a long hyphen, in a column filled with fancy scientific sounding terms.