How To Avoid Letting The Killer Question Throw You Off Track In Job Interviews

Job interviews can be challenging.  In truth they should be.  After all the employer is making a major investment decision.

If you were making a major investment decision you would want to make sure you made the right one. Wouldn’t you?

Asking candidates good, challenging questions is the way for the employer to assure themselves that you are the best candidate.

In any job interview you are going to get what I call the guaranteed questions.  Those that focus on areas like:

  • Your knowledge of the business or sector
  • Your strengths
  • Your weaknesses
  • Your motivators
  • Style of leader or manager you are
  • The role you like to take on a team

Any candidate serious about getting the job will be ready for these questions.

The other type of question that you will see mentioned a lot are the so called killer question.

These are the type of questions that might well stop you in your tracks or create panic.  The interviewer might:

  • Ask you about your biggest mistake
  • Suggest that you haven’t achieved much in your career
  • Ask you about an area where they know you are lacking experience.

The most important thing to remember is that these killer questions are asked for a reason.  Not to be nasty or difficult.

If you think about it you can easily deal with the predictable.  The interviewer knows this.

Few jobs or organisations are predictable all the time.  In fact it’s in those situations of pressure that your best employees really shine.

In many ways the killer question is asked to see how you deal with pressure or the unexpected.  If you are able to come back with a great answer that’s a bonus.  Chances are you will struggle or give an answer that when you look back could have been better.

Showing you can handle the pressure and adapt is more important than giving a brilliant answer.

Don’t get thrown off track.  Take a deep breath, a sip of water, compose yourself and respond professionally and calmly.  By doing that you demonstrate that you can deal with pressure and the unexpected.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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