The toughest tough interview question

The question goes, “What one skill do you possess that will benefit our bottom line?”

If you think of the flow of the interview, this can be asked at any time.  I like this 1 for an employer more than, “Tell me about yourself,” because it gets right to the point.  It has a shock value to it because the candidate is meant to be prepared to answer this question.  

You need to work on this in advance.  Not only work on it but offer up examples as you speak.

For example, if you are in sales, they might ask something like, “If you only had one skill you possess, which will be most responsible for you helping you land major customers?”  There are lots of different things that you can answer to that.  You can talk about organizational skills.  The ability to inspire a team around the goal.  Ability to deliver.  Ability to engender trust in a customer that you and your firm that you and your firm can deliver the goods.  Great answers.

From they are, be prepared for someone to say, “Give me an example of when you did that?” Thus, you have to be prepared to tell a story that demonstrates what you did and how you did it.  Everything ultimately is going to come down to the story and not the generality.  And you also have to be prepared for someone to say to you, “Would you give me a name and phone number of 2 people who worked on that with you?  I would like to verify what you told me.”  Catch that one!

So, it’s not just simply the answer.  It’s the texture of the answer that is so important in how you respond.  Again, there are lots of different fields.  

There is the administrative assistant.  “Tell me about work that you’ve done that has made a significant impact on your manager.”  As an accountant, “Tell me about the work that you’ve done that made a difference in your organization.”  Can you see the “BOING” factor in these questions?

Be prepared for that.  Be prepared to use stories.  Be prepared to provide names, phone numbers, and email addresses of 1 or 2 people who will tell the story similarly to you to substantiate how you answer the question.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff 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 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

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