- On April 15, 2019
It’s still peak interviewing season! Hopefully you are landing interviews and acing questions, but in case you give a less than ideal answer, here are a few ways to salvage your interview (courtesy of this Forbes article):
- For any question (particularly weird ones you’re not sure what they’re getting at), work in why you are right for the job. “[A]lways think first of your message, which you have prepared in advance and which you know very well, then you can start with what you know, buy yourself some time, and adapt your message to any question. Most importantly, you keep the interview focused on what matters (i.e., what you can contribute), and you make the case for why you’re a good hire, regardless of whether the interviewer asks helpful questions or not.”
- For pointed questions, e.g., about gaps on your resume or short stints somewhere, keep your answer factual and unemotional, and then explain how all roads lead to the current one and get on message. If you are asked why you were at an employer such a short time, a sample answer: “When I joined, the job turned out to be different than I expected so I felt it was best to move on. All my other tenures have been far longer…In my last role at Company Sane, [continue with your message].” Or if you are asked about the worst boss you ever had: “I have learned something from all of my bosses, so I appreciate all of them…. I do best when I have autonomy and agency in my work, so my least favorite would have to be at Company Scary, where there was more of a micro-managing style. Luckily, my last boss is still a mentor to me…[pivot to something positive].”
- If you blank on a question, try to give examples that are at least close. For example, if you are asked to talk about a product launch you worked on and you can’t remember anything, it’s ok to raise a new market you opened at least. If you come up with something better after the interview, include that info in your thank you note.