According to a piece on Forbes, there are three quintessential job interview questions:
1. Can you do the job?
2. Will you love the job?
3. Can we tolerate working with you?
Well, if you’re responding to these important questions with an interviewer who isn’t proficient in interviewing, there are three key steps to keep in mind.
1. Think before opening your mouth. It’s okay to pause. Silence is your friend and it’s perfectly fine to take a moment to gather your thoughts before you speak.
2. Answer the question that has been asked. Don’t dodge the question but rather go for the answer. Articulate yourself and don’t beat around the bush. If the interviewer asks a question about experience and you don’t have it, it’ll be pretty obvious if you avoid answering the question.
3. Bridge to answer the true underlying question. As suggested in the piece, connect the dots between your answer and the question aiming towards assessing your strengths, motivation or fit (questions 1, 2 and 3, respectively). So, you’ll need to find a link between point A and B so the interviewer will easily make the connection.
For instance, if the interviewer asks you about volunteer work and you really want to focus on your communication skills, as recommended in the piece, simply use a bridge like this:
“What I most enjoy about working with children is being able to make a contribution to people with a very different background than mine. Connecting with people with different backgrounds and communicating with them is one of my strengths. For example, in my last corporate job I once…”
Creating a bridge relies on the number one step of thinking before you speak so you can effectively articulate your thoughts.