For most people, that is a shocker question.
It’s hard of the think of people not like you in the workplace.
How do you explain that to the interviewer?
You cannot use a pat answer (Everyone likes me. There is never a problem with any of my co-workers.)
There is always someone who you will have disagreed with. 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 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 by saying, “That’s a great question! I never 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 directions, they may find it uncomfortable to deal with someone like me who likes to charge right in and can figure things out on the fly and can 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 in the interview. On the other hand, if you acknowledge differences and explain how you function, that can go a long way toward winning the job.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1800 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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