Your interview is going smoothly. You’ve managed to break the ice, and the awkwardness has decreased substantially as a result. The interviewer seems impressed with how you’ve responded so far, but you aren’t in the clear yet.
The interviewer is now asking questions that are job relevant, or seem as if they have some kind of significance. Now’s the time to start controlling your answers.
The wrong thing to do now is start spewing out the answers you think they want to hear. Instead, focus on proving truthful answers that highlight positive qualities, even if the answer itself is inherently negativeFor example, what should you say if the interviewer asks why you left your last job? If you were fired, tell them, but definitely don’t say you were fired. Try something like “Both my previous employer and myself thought that I needed to move on. I was not happy with the environment, and my employer was able to detect this from my mannerisms. I am glad that I left, as it has given me new opportunities to grow, both as a person and as an employee.
If you quit, try something like “I left my prior position as I felt that it was time for me to move on. I wasn’t particularly enjoying myself, and right now, at this point in my life, my main focus is on finding employment that I can really enjoy.”
In the examples above, neither answer was a lie. In fact, the first answer about being fired is entirely truthful: your employer thought you needed to move on, so you did. If your interviewer comes right out and says something like “So, you were fired?” , try laughing it off and progressing with the interview. Never lie to them.
This type of response is commonly referred to as “sugar coating” something, and in the interview, you want them to see the best of you. Highlight your good attributes, answer the hard questions, and most importantly, never appear nervous when doing it. You have nothing to hide unless, of course, you really are a bad employee.
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2 thoughts on “How to Conduct a Successful Interview Part Two: The Right Answers”
Great article, good advice on how to handle an interview… you did a really good job with the ’sugarcoating’ answers. Very true and helpful in interviews!
I like to use the term “corporate cutbacks”.