Tough Interview Questions: Who Helped You?

The question I want you to be prepared for is geared for more senior people because you people are the ones with blind spots.  The question is, “Who helped you?”

The trick to the question is very simple.  You can’t say, “No one.”  That’s because every step along the way in your life you’ve been helped.  So, if you sit there opposite them and say, “Hmmm. No one has helped me,” there is a problem there.  The problem is lack of consciousness and awareness which falls into the realm of the emotional intelligence their firm’s looking for from senior talent and (2) you are oblivious!  

Let’s get practical!  You got help from teachers.  You have been helped by a parent or parents.  You got helped by siblings.  You got helped by mentors and former managers who guided you each step along the way.

The wrong answer is the one about, “Huh.  No one.”  The right one is the truth.  You have to do a little bit of acting.  

If you want to answer this well, it might sound something like, “Well, I’ve never been asked this one before. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, there have been a lot of people who helped me. ” Then start talking about the humanity of some of the people who helped you before, you present yourself as having a big open heart as you share information about these former mentors, coaches, parents, teachers, wife/husband/partner, your kids have also been great teachers, too.  I know my son has been that way for me.

You cannot say, “No one.”  No one operates on an island and for someone who is going to lead a team of people to say, no one has ever helped me, like your previous teams haven’t helped you to succeed so that you can be in this position?  Come on!

Ⓒ 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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