Preparing for a career-changing interview is not easy, it takes time, planning and rehearsing to nail down your answers to perfection. I get it, that’s why having a mentor or interview coach offers so much value! Having someone there to push you through the stumbles and forgotten lines, offering a different perspective on the choice of language etc. can massively help you boost confidence and preparedness.

But there’s a never-ending list of bizarre and fastidious questions the interviewer could ask that you just didn’t prepare for. For example: “If you had to plan a project in a train station or a swimming pool, which one would you choose and why?”  Seriously, this is a question which was asked to one of my clients!

First, we need to understand, why are they asking this question, what is the purpose and what are they looking for? Is there a right answer?

To be blunt, no! There is no wrong or right answer, they just want to see how you handle pressure and create logic and clarity in the face of ambiguity.

Take a breath and reverse the questioning to the interviewer to take control of the situation and demonstrate your confidence in your own competencies. Start with saying, “that’s a really interesting question, I’d like to give a great answer for this so I would like to narrow down some details if you don’t mind.”

Use open questions which start with the word WHAT, WHEN, WHO, WHY, WHERE and HOW, these will force the interviewer to give you more information other than just a YES or NO.

You could ask: What is the project about? (this could determine the importance of the location i.e. it’s a project on city transport)

After asking a handful of questions and equipped with this new information, try to correlate connections between the data and applying logic to your answer.

Reply: “After considering the options a swimming pool, does sound a lot quieter and less stressful than a busy train station, but doesn’t offer the inspired environment to plan a city transportation project. I would find a coffee shop inside the station which offers WIFI and a table for me and my team to sit down and start mapping out the main features of the project for example, what does the project intend to achieve, what resources do we have available to us, what deadlines are we working with and who are the stakeholders involved…”

These questions, as mentioned, do not have a right or wrong answer, so relax, take a breath, and ask clarification questions to give you more time and data to work with. Demonstrate your confidence and assertiveness by taking control of the situation. Even take notes if you have a pen and paper handy.

If you’d like to start preparing for your job interview, book a discovery call with me today for free to find out how Interview Coaching can increase your chances of getting hired.

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