Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Magic Interview Question That Can Score The Job

Wouldn’t it be great if there was one thing you could say in an interview to ensure that you get the job offer? Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic job-offer spell, but I will tell you a way to stop interviewers in their tracks and make them truly consider you for the role at hand.

This trick is not for the faint of heart. You are going to stare potential rejection in the face, but you aren’t going to blink. You are going to open yourself to constructive criticism – and you might just learn something about yourself. And if you can make yourself do it, you are setting yourself up for success.

At the end of an interview, after what may feel like an endless barrage of back-to-back questions, you will hear perhaps the most dreaded question of all: “Do you have any questions for me?” Many job candidates stumble. Perhaps they already got their questions answered, or they were really hoping to just skip this part. Many people stutter out a half-whispered “not at this time,” or perhaps they blunder by asking about the salary before the interviewer brings it up. Perhaps they will ask what the company culture is like or their interviewer’s favorite part of their job.

And while some of those are good questions, they aren’t the one the candidate is really itching to ask: “Did I get the job?!”

Hang on – don’t jump ahead! I’m not suggesting that you ask point-blank if you will get a job offer. Instead, ask this:

“Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications for this position?”


Your interviewer will really have to stop and think about this one. One of three things could happen:

1. She will tell you the truth about a hesitation she has. For instance, she might say “you know, I was really looking for someone with a master’s degree.” To which you can respond something like, “I’m glad to hear you say that – that’s actually in my personal 5-year plan! I’ve even started to look at degree programs. I want to establish myself in this job and really prove myself, then I will start working towards that degree.” By addressing such a concern head-on, you can find ways to eliminate the interviewer’s hesitations. You are problem-solving on the fly, so if you already have a feeling what might come up, work on your response in preparation for your interview.

2. She’s going to lie and say that she doesn’t have any hesitations when she really does. But the thing is – she’s just articulated verbally that she thinks that you’re qualified for the position. Now that she’s said it out loud, she is actually beginning to persuade herself that there aren’t any hesitations. This is a persuasion technique that we are borrowing from the world of sales.

3. She really can’t think of any hesitations! Saying it aloud will actually help her believe it and come away feeling like she has met a truly great candidate.

With any of these responses, your interviewer is now feeling more confident about you as a candidate! You have gotten a chance to calm any of her fears about hiring you, and you have demonstrated your ability to solve problems and your openness to constructive criticisms.

This persuasive tactic can be intimidating, but practice and see what happens! Contact Career Development Services at 215.670.9202 or cds@peirce.edu to work on preparing for your best interview yet.