This is one of those fun trick questions. I have to say, “trick” because let me explain the trick to you because it suggests the answer and most people miss it entirely. The question is, “How lucky are you and why.”
The key to suggesting the answer is the “and why” part because most people are going to go off on a tirade about an incredible luck lock luck or they have no luck. Pretty predictable answers.
Now, what the employer is suggesting with the question is that there are reasons why people are lucky and they want to know what your reasons are so it lets you know right off the bat they’re thinking it isn’t about luck after all. Now, you might just simply start by saying, “You know, luck is one of those funny things. You know, for example, some musicians are incredibly lucky but no one talks about the 25 years they’ve spent in the studio working up to the point where someone would notice them. Thus, they become the luckiest musicians on the planet because they’ve got the hit record. Or, you know, a variety of things. You can use movies as an example of that.
But, fundamentally, what employer generally wants to hear is, “Some people talk about karma and I’ve thought a lot of great things in my life that help to create circumstances where I receive good fortune. And thus you translate luck into good fortune. “But I don’t want to make it seem as though these things happen by accident. I work incredibly hard to make my “luck” as you will to put myself in a position where I have the opportunity to have good things happen to me. You know I do the work. You know I drive sales (You talk about the nature of work).
You know, in answering the question, you lay out a couple of things that you do that helps make you “lucky” so that it is really about luck. Most people don’t know how much I’ve done up until this point to arrive at the stage. Where they think it’s luck, I think it’s the effort that’s gone into it.”
And then they’ll ask you, “Can you give me an example of that? Can you talk about something from your history where people were amazed that you did something but you spent 20 years of my life working up to that point?”
Maybe it was how you came up with a solution to a problem where you’d seen something similar or in junior high school. On and on and on. You can use examples like that but you know the trick is not that it’s luck but that you’ve put effort into getting “luck” to put yourself in the position to be able to be lucky.
Ⓒ 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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