Tough Interview Questions: Are You Nice?

Are you nice?

That is the whole question.  

There are 3 answers to this question and let’s start with the assumption that you are on an interview and you’ve seen the job description, have a sense of what the job is about, and can figure out in advance what this the interviewer is looking for. 

So, if the correct answer for this interviewer is, “Yes,”, then what you’re going to do is talk about your kindness, compassion, tell stories about how helpful you’ve been . . .  stuff like that.

There are some jobs, like in sales, where firmness or toughness is much more important and then you have to tell a story that relates to that.  

Now, here is the tricky one.  Let’s say you can’t figure it out and you are stuck, not knowing what they’re looking for (which I think is to be the case most of the time). Then you have to say, “It’s not an either/or for me, nice or not nice.  I think there are times where niceness is in order,” and then you tell them a story.  

And then there are times where toughness is in order and then you tell them a different story and thus can with complete conviction say, “ I do what’s needed in the situation that’s involved.  If sugar is what’s needed, I am as sweet as can be.  At the same time, if a different ingredient is called for, trust me, I will bring that out in myself and deliver the goods as needed.

Ⓒ 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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