Tough Interview Questions: What WIll You Do If You Don’t Get This Job? |

Follow Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter on Facebook

There is a message in this question that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read Full Transcript

I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter, the head coach for

A tough interview question. It is particularly tough because they are signaling something to you. The question is, “What will you do if you don't get this job?”

I don't know whether it's guilt on their part because they're looking at an older worker and there are afraid of you being suicidal because you are really putting in all sorts of effort. They probably found someone else. That's the reality behind this question. There is this something being revealed unit that suggests, “OK. You really put in your best. It wasn't good enough and what will you do?”

You have a couple of different ways to play this. The first one is to answer it straight on. And in the classic suggestion of an answer to this question, this 1 comes out of the book called, “301 Smart Answers to Tough Interview Questions.” It is where I got this question from. I always look for more tough interview questions. When I saw this one, I just was revolted.

What they suggest is, “ I tend to think positively, rather than negatively. So, honestly, I can't imagine what I will do if I don't end up getting this job because I have dreamt about working here for years. So, let's talk about why you feel I'm the perfect candidate.” Then, hit them with your best soundbite is that why you were born to do this job.

What a load of crap!

I think you are best off just simply saying to them, “Before I answer, can I just ask you if you're telling me something with this question?”

I think that's a far more positive approach so that, in this way, you can have a more conversation.

So, “No. I am just curious. What would you do?”

And then, from there, what you do is switch over to the tact of talking about why you really think your well-qualified


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Visit and click the relevant tab on the top of the page. 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.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

Join and attend my classes on Skillshare. Become a premium member and get 2 months free.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle on Amazon and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.” If you are starting your search, order, “Get Ready for the Job Jungle.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

For more about LinkedIn, order “Stacked: Double Your Job Interviews, Leverage Recruiters and Unlock LinkedIn.”

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: