As someone prepares for an interview there is always fear for unexpected questions, stubborn interviewers or even getting inadvertently late.
Well there is always another situation, one where you know the answer to the asked question but you fear that it might not be the one your interviewer wants to hear.
An example is if your interview is on a Sunday, you meet up at the Venue (Office) and everyone is engrossed at their table busy working and one of the interview is questions is-“What is your view regarding working on Sundays?”
You quickly work it out in your mind considering that every other person is busy at their desk and give the “right” answer the one you think your interviewer wants to hear “It’s ok with me actually working on Sundays is good since it’s a good day to concentrate from the outside world”
But the possibility is that your preferred answer is totally the reverse of what you think the interviewer wants to hear so if the response that you prefer is the reverse – “I don’t prefer working on Sundays since that’s when I attend church and spend time with my friends and family” and considering that you want the job yet you do not want to lie, you have to be straight and here is how you can achieve this;
1. Understand that the interviewer doesn’t know what they want to hear.
Taking the above example maybe on that Sunday everyone was working on an extraordinary arrangement, meaning they don’t actually work on Sundays as a norm but the interviewer was simply throwing a random question that didn’t require the candidate to lie but to be honest who likes to work on Sundays anyway.
Most times, interviewers want you to be frank and honest about your preferences. They maybe looking for specific merits and experiences, but they also know that you’re a person, not a machine. You may consider that your answer isn’t the right one—but it may be the one to land you the job.
2. Try to say it differently
As the saying saying goes, there are many ways of killing a cat. You can try to rephrase that answer you think the interview doesn’t want to hear to sound more acceptable.
In some cases, you may be able to be honest with your response while still putting yourself in a good position.
For example, maybe your interviewer asks you whether you know how to use software x. The honest answer? I don’t know, I actually have never heard about it.
That will actually not go down well with your interviewer. So other than lying that you know it, consider stating the same honestly and positively for example by concentrating on how you can learn that software.
“I have not used software x before but given my computer skills I can easily adapt any computer software within the shortest time possible”
Such an answer may sound undesirable but interviewers are most times looking for flexibility, honesty, positivity and it’s such traits that will land you that job.
3. Feel free to Ask for clarifications.
Don’t assume you accurately know what the interviewer wants to hear simply ask a few expounding questions to understand the topic better so you can find a way of responding honestly while putting yourself in a good position.
Taking the above example of working on Sunday. I assume you don’t want to work on Sundays you could answer the question this way “I don’t prefer working on Sundays but if there are urgent tasks to be accomplished, I don’t mind. I see everyone busy at their desks so do you work every Sunday?” In this way, you’re being absolutely honest, at the same time highlighting your flexibility and most importantly, you’re finding out if they actually work every Sunday later on other related information, the interviewer will normally open up when you come out straightforward.
By the way just as you are being evaluated, this is the time for you to evaluate the opportunity as well. For your eventual job satisfaction, don’t only look at pleasing your interviewer, it’s the time for you to find out if the role is fit for you.
Uhmm before we go,
4. Know what works for you
You have to know what works for you and this should be your benchmark, it should be your guide, it’s what you should be looking out for instead of focusing on answering pleasingly to your interviewer.
We know you want your answers to excite and or soothe the interviewer but the truth will always come out.
Be “nice” while being truthful at the same time and soon or later your perfect job will come your way.
Let us know what tricky interview Q&A situation you have faced and how you got your way out of it.