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Don’t Give Everything Away In the Job Interview!

Source | LinkedIn : By Liz Ryan

A job interview is a high-pressure situation.  No matter how comfortable a conversationalist you are, a job interview can be intimidating.

In a job interview, most people are going to feel at least a small twinge of pressure — pressure to come across as smart and capable. It would be odd if they didn’t feel that way. In a job interview, you’ve got a guy or a woman sitting across from you and basically judging you. You are judging them too, but it’s hard to shake the years of indoctrination we’ve all been subjected to.

Our indoctrination taught us that we must please the interviewer. Even if we are confident, easy-going people it’s hard to feel completely relaxed for the duration of a job interview.

That’s why when you’re interviewing with your hiring manager and he or she asks you “So, how would you solve my biggest problem?” we tend to feel pressure to give up our best ideas, right there in the interview. 

You may be doing brilliantly in the job interview, digging into your hiring manager’s pain points and talking about meaty issues. That’s the ideal interview scenario. The point of a job interview is not to please the interviewer but to get into a real business conversation about what’s not working perfectly in the manager’s department right now. 

A critical juncture in any job interview and particularly in a Pain Interview is the point where your hiring manager says “So, you seem to have a pretty good handle on the kinds of things we’re dealing with here. How would you solve our problem?”

If you are like most people, you’re dying to tell your hiring manager exactly how to fix his or her problem.  You want to show the manager that you’re smart and knowledgeable. Don’t do it! There is no way to win that game. The diagram on the left shows why.

Once you share a great idea in a job interview, your manager will react to it. Their reaction will have little to do with the quality of the idea. Rather, your manager’s first question in his own head will be “Did we think of that idea already?”

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