Tough Interview Questions: Rate Your Abilities on a Scale of 1-10

Tough Interview Questions: Rate Your Abilities on a Scale of 1-10

This is one of those fun tough interview questions that could be framed in one of two ways. The one I used in the title is a pretty straight forward question. Ten is the best in the world one is worthless.

Here’s the variation on that same question but with one extra thing in there. Rate yourself and your abilities on a scale of one to ten. Ten is the best in the world . . . .But you can’t use the number eight.

Why would someone do that? Simple. Most people default to number eight. Thus, the way the question works is not the question itself but the follow up to it.

So, for example, in the first version of this, you might say, “I’d say eight and a half, maybe nine.”

“Why would you choose that number?”

“Well, I’m not the best in the world. I know I’m extremely good and I haven’t met more than a hundred people who do what I do. So, from those people, I can see I rank very highly. But, we’re talking about throughout the world so I’m going to take it down a little bit and say eight and a half, maybe nine.”

Do you see how you’re going with this? The follow up is designed to get you to explain what would make you a certain nine. What would make you a seven? That, they may probe.

“What’s the difference between those rankings,” and your ability to soar through your background confidently without giving up some secret about your experience becomes important here.

Now, when you can’t use the number eight, pause for a second, go, “Ohhhhh,” and you sigh because that signals you would have chosen eight. That’s okay.

“Well, if I can’t choose eight, I’m going to choose a nine.”

“Well, why would you do that?”

“Because I’m definitely not a seven. Sevens are . . . ” and you start going into deprecating remarks about someone who’s not of high enough quality.

“9, that fits me much closer than a 7 ever would.”

What you’re doing is, not just simply answering the question. You’re demonstrating confidence in yourself and that’s another piece of this. This question could be asked of anyone in their job search. The tricky one is the 8 question because people default to that. Don’t fall for it and chooses 7. False humility just indicates a lack of confidence in them.

Ⓒ 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 1800 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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