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Turning the Interview Into a Positive Conversation

  We have all experienced, especially early in our careers, the phenomenon of being at a job interview and answering an endless series of employer questions.  The longer this goes on, and the more difficult the questions become, maintaining one’s viability in the interview becomes increasingly difficult.  

What is the problem here?   

  Simply stated, what we have here is not so much an interview as an interrogation.  When one party can pose questions unceasingly and the other party is only in “response” mode, there is a basic inequality and imbalance to the discussion.  Under such circumstances it is not unusual for candidates to become flustered and nervous, leading employers to conclude they are “unqualified.”   

  In truth, that may not be the case at all.  You may be an excellent candidate for the position, but this particular mode of interviewing is working to your disadvantage.   

What can you do to improve this situation? 

  We would recommend the aggressive use of what is called the “offensive question.”  This, of course, does not imply anything negative or insulting.  Rather it is the process of the candidate posing a series of questions to the interviewer to restore equity to the conversation.  Let’s say the interviewer has asked the classic “tell me about yourself.”  You should answer the question to the best of your ability.  Then, rather than yielding the floor, you should immediately ask the interviewer a previously-prepared question concerning the position, the company, the industry, etc.  

  In this way, the interviewer is drawn into the conversation, you gain crucial information that may not have been otherwise forthcoming, and, critically, you obtain time to rest, recoup and plan your next move. 

  Use of this method can turn the interview interrogation into a positive exchange of ideas similar to a normal conversation. 

  For more job search-related information, hire our expert resume writers!

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