Tough Interview Questions: How Do You Get In The Zone? | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 841 I think this is a ridiculous question, but someone was asked her last week.  There’s more than one way to answer the question.

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Almost every day, early like this, I go online to talk with people about some element of job search. That's because I believe jobs hunting doesn't have to be hard, difficult, painful or take a long time. To me, the skills needed to find a job are different than those needed to do a job.

Today, I thought I would answer 1 of those tough interview questions I get asked on interviews. If you're interested in hearing more of my answers, I'm doing a year of shows about interviewing on my podcast, "No BS Job Search Advice Radio." That's available in iTunes, stitcher and other podcast services.

The question for today is, "How do you get in the zone?"

I'll simply say that this is a dumb question. It would never be as to the senior person. It tends to be asked of staff level people. How do you get in the zone? It's really very simple. What you have noticed on your way in what's the energy like in the office that you are interviewing with. Is there a buzz? Is it loud? Or is a quiet? What is it like energetically?

If you haven't noticed it, you have to take a cautious approach. Again, if this is something that is true of you, you talk about, "I love working in place with high-energy." Or, "I love working in a quiet place. When I get in the zone, I'm really locked in and the distraction of other noise . . . "Do you see where I am going?

If you haven't noticed it on the way in, you say something all bit more ambivalent or wishy-washy for lack of a better term. It's basically hedging your answer.

The way you say it, is something along the lines of, "hey look, I have worked in a lot of different places and I had been able to key in very well and perform at a high level. What is my preference? I like working with smart people." Thus, you deflect off of working or talking about the energy level in the office and focusing on that.

Again, either mirror what you walked into. Or, you hedge, and that get you off the hook.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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