The Crucial Question That Every Interviewee Must Answer
By Patrick Ropella. Posted 09/07/2010
Behind every interview question that is being asked, there is another one that the interviewer has foremost on his or her mind - but which will never be asked. All of your answers put together, along with your actions and mannerisms are part of the answer, and will help determine whether or not you will be hired. Together, they will answer this single, most important question.
The unasked question is one that cannot be answered with spoken words - no matter how perfectly they may be uttered. If you understand the unasked question, you will be better able to handle the interview successfully - possibly. For some, it will still be very difficult.
According to Karen Burns at Money.USNews, the unasked question is simply this, Are you a good social match for the people who work here already? The interviewer has been given the task to weed out those that are not going to fit in with the company and the other employees. If someone of that type is allowed to join the ranks, trouble and distractions are apt to soon follow. Here are some tips to help you answer the question – successfully and silently.
Match the Interviewer’s Style
The interviewer will only be able to answer that question based on how well you interact with him or her. If you are found to be too mechanical, or melancholy, most likely you will not be given a job offer. An interviewer is looking to see how you respond to their particular style of communication during the interview process.
When the interviewer starts the process, an interviewee wants to respond in a similar manner. You do not want to be cold and mechanical when the interviewer is taking a friendly, more relaxed approach. On the other hand, you also want to avoid being more friendly (bordering on familiar) than the interviewer is toward you. Try and respond by matching the style presented.
With every answer that you give, you want to convey friendliness and a positive attitude. All of your answers need to show that you are a person that others can get along with - even when you are nervous and under pressure. Don’t let negative answers or attitudes break out and ruin your chances of a good job. It is possible that even the slightest wrong response could destroy your chance to get the job - depending on how quickly or sensitive your interviewer is to catch your meanings or expressions. By staying relaxed and being well prepared, you’ll find it’s easier to stay positive.
The reason for working hard to present a positive face is to ensure the interviewer that you can be a valuable team player. On the job, you will most likely be working with other people somewhere down the line (and possibly all day long), and they want to know that you are capable of contributing positively to a team’s efforts.
The Preparation Needed
During an interview, there are many questions that might be asked. Many of them, of course, are predictable. These you can find and then study and be better prepared to answer. Being ready with some of the answers will strengthen your self-confidence and will enable you to appear more confident in the interview, but be sure to avoid cockiness.
With each answer you give, you want to show how you will be a valuable team player and that you really do have something to add to the team. Be prepared, too, to answer wisely questions about your weaknesses and what you are doing about them. They are looking for both honesty and the ability to learn from your mistakes.
Answering the question about being a team player will also come from other clues the interviewer will be sure to see. This includes your dress, your mannerisms (chewing gum?), your ability to be on time, are you constantly looking at your watch or cellphone?, etc.
Help the Interviewer
On some occasions, it is possible that someone who is inexperienced, backwards in some way or just personally hurting will be interviewing you. Their own "condition" at the moment of the interview may not let them see what they need to see about you. If they are unprepared, uncomfortable, sick or in pain, don’t be impatient, frustrated or uncaring. If you take the time and carefully reach out to them, and help them to feel more relaxed in a process they are clearly not enjoying at the moment, they will remember your kindness and help. What more could you want from a team player?