Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to answer the tough interview question, “What would a co-worker who doesn’t like you say about you?”
Let’s talk about 1 of those tough interview questions that’s designed to blindside you. This is not 1 of those hedge fund questions that firms ask. You know, brainteasers. This is just 1 of those standard interview questions that shows up from time to time and I want to make sure you’re prepared for it. Here’s the question:
“How would someone who doesn’t like you describe you?”
For most people, that is a shocker question.
- It’s hard of the think of people not liking you in the workplace.
- How do you explain that to the interviewer?
- You cannot use the pat answer (Everyone likes me. There is never a problem with any of my coworkers.)
There is always someone who will have had a disagreement with you. Here’s a way to play it, and it can be done in more than one direction.
For example, you are working with someone who is somewhat analytical. You can say, “That’s a great question! I haven’t really thought of that!” (Remember, interviewing can be an acting job as part of answering questions). So you want to appear as though you have been taken off guard even though you have a way of answering the question.
So, again, you start off by saying, “That’s a great question! I ever really thought of that!” Then you take a moment and continue by saying, “I know with a coworker who is somewhat analytical and wants to look at a problem from a lot of corrections, they may find it uncomfortable to deal with someone like me who likes to charge right in and is able to figure things out on the fly,, to be able to move things along.” That’s a great answer in a sales role.
You can also say, “For those who like the charge right in, I’d like to look at a problem from a few different directions to ensure that we don’t unintentionally cause harm. Along the way or do things that would be completely ineffectual. I would rather take a moment to evaluate things before taking action. After all, all of us are time stressed.. So I would rather do something one time extremely well and repeatedly do things to correct mistakes.”
Again, you can answer the question in both directions, but the idea is to never diminish the question By saying, “I have never had a problem with anyone at work.” No one will believe it,, they will just think you’re lying to them and you’ll hurt yourself on the interview. On the other hand, if you acknowledge difference and explain how you function, that can go a long way toward winning the job.
Do you think employers are trying to help you? You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
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