Why You Should ALWAYs Question The Interviewer
Many people fail the interview process because they rarely question the interviewer. During the interview you will be asked around 6-10 questions throughout a 45 minute interview, designed to see if you have the skills, aptitude and experience to work in their organisation.
Often though, these thought-out questions can be highly ambiguous. The interviewee on hearing the question will make their own sense of the ambiguity; wrongly making the question fit their own experience.
The answer the interviewee gives, which they believe is a strong reply, is taken negatively by the interviewer “why are they telling me about X when I want to know Y?”
Your Brain Blocks The Required Answer
The interview questions asked are designed to gather particular information. If asked a generic question, let’s use the example of managing a successful project, the interviewee could talk about managing staff, pre-project planning or problem solving.
If you discuss in detail experiences that aren’t relevant to what the interviewer is interested in hearing or wanting to undercover through the generic question, your interview can falter.
This small issue is a big problem. The interviewers own experiences will filter your answers, and if you don’t state the answers the interviewer is hoping you will discuss then the job offer will drift further away.
Often the interviewer will repeat the question or ask additional questions to give you a chance to change or add to your answer, but because of our own experience relating to the question, we rarely change the given answer.
You can book an interview coaching session and/or a Mock Interview with an interview coach by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
How Your Mind Differs
Imagine that the employers experience is one where throughout a project, problems appear and the project manager has to fire fight to meet the targets and deadlines (this could be due to the project type, the sector they work in or the way a previous manager managed the project – the reason doesn’t matter, but the employers experience does)
You are asked “how you would achieve targets if an unforeseen problem occurs”. Now, your own experience is being a pro-active planner, which has led to your own practice of being one where predict problems in the initial planning stage to prevent unforeseen issues from appearing.
Your answer in this situation would discuss how you “plan” “prepare” “foresee” “pro-active” “check outside the box” all key skills that have helped you to be successful.
But the interviewer from their own experience is looking for someone to discuss “fire-fighting” “problem solving” “re-active” “working under pressure”
The outcome maybe the same, but the employers experience differs from yours. These two sides of the coins rub against each other and causes interview friction, as the interviewer can’t get the interviewee to see their perspective and vice versa.
The Power of a Question
When asked an ambiguous question, you the interviewee needs to clarify the required answer. This way you can frame the answer so the interviewer understands fully what you are suggesting.
“How you would achieve targets if an unforeseen problem occurs”.
Reply “There are two key times to deal with problems one as the problem occurs or by pre-empting problems, which would you like me to discuss?”
“We want to know how you would handle an unforeseen problem in the middle of a project”
Now you have the details of the required answer, which means you can give an answer the will relate to the interviewers own experience.
Interview Preparation Resources
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