This is an opportunity where you can disqualify yourself from being hired. It’s not like anything that you’re going to say is going to make them go, “Yeah, that’s the guy we want to hire.” But it can swiftly make them go, “Oh, this is a guy we’ve got to stay away from, like the plague. So, you want to be smart about your answer and not say anything immature.
An immature answer is, “I hate my boss,” or words to that effect. Or “my work is boring,” or words to that effect, not necessarily that specific answer. But giving an immature answer where you spend a few minutes trashing your current organization. trashing your job, trashing the people you work for isn’t going to get your hired. It’s going to get you rejected.
So, let’s be smart. What do they want to hear from you?
If you think about the typical interview question, what they want to hear is, “I want to learn, I want to work hard. I want to get ahead,” and if you remember that theme over and over again, when they ask dumb questions like this (And it is a dumb question), you’re always smart.
So here’s the way I would suggest answering that question. “You know,” (again, remember, I’m a big believer, you have to act and even though you may have answered this question 1000 times already, you have to pretend like it’s the first time you’ve heard the question. It’s not like, you can sit there we go, “Oh, I’m ready for that one.”)
You can’t act like you’re prepped and rehearsed. You have to make it seem like you’re thinking about this for the first time. “That’s a great question. As I think about it, probably the thing that is frustrating me the most is I want to be challenged more. Initially, when I started my job, there were new things to learn. There were opportunities for advancement. It was a very clear picture of where I felt like I could learn and grow. And as time has progressed, I become sufficiently good that I’m seen as indispensable in this role. I want to keep learning and growing because I’m only (fill in the blank) 27. 35. 42. Whatever it is. Because I’m only such and such age, there’s more stuff I want to learn. You know, I want to grow and want to develop. I don’t want to be seen as the indispensable person around such and such. I want to join an organization that sees me as having an upside, wants to train me will provide me with mentoring, and help me grow because frankly, I believe I have even more of an upside.”
And what you do by saying that is . . . it’s not like they’re going to hear anything and go, “Well, that was a good canned answer.” They are going to go, “Okay. You got through that one and let me give them another one.” So, recognize, again, this is not an answer that’s going to get you hired, but it can be an answer to get you to disqualified.
Ⓒ 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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