Knockout Interview!


Finally, you’ve made it to the shortlist and interview now. As you sit there Fielding intelligent answer question comes from out of the blue suddenly you have a magical, tongue-tied and ineffective. You know right then that you have been knocked out of the interview. How could it have been prevented?

The Web Site Example

Alex was pleased with himself because this job opportunity in Nairobi Kenya would draw on his skills to produce effective, cheap videos and TV shows to a global audience make where knowledge, not to mention his fluency in three languages. Then impression was asked in a telephone interview. “You have seen our website and description of the 30 projects asked?” “Yes,” he replied honestly. “Would you choose one and describe us the strengths and weaknesses.” Alex was speechless. He tried to think about all the projects and choose one to focus on, but it was all a jumble; the more he thought more confused he became. Then sweat, elongated silence. Finally he said: “Honestly, I would have more time to answer you with knowledge.” The interview ended shortly thereafter.

  • Why did they ask this question?
  • What were they looking for?
  • What kind of person would they get
  • respond well to this type of question?
  • What should Alex have done?

Why this question?

It is hard to know why interviewers ask certain questions. In our opinion, this was a stupid question, but in our opinion, would have been of no help Alex in all cases. They ask him because they think it’s clever that it will separate the wheat from the chaff.

We believe that it is stupid because it will eliminate a very good candidates and it is not a matter of respect. It’s sneaky, to say the least and it is not related on-the-job capacity that is actually what the interview should be about.

What were they looking for?

They might have been looking for the rare someone who had the foresight and the ability to record data on all 30 projects and then offer intelligent answer. If they were clever question they have been looking for, not the real answer, but simply to see how one would field it. So they get to see how a person reacts to stress. Or, perhaps they sought to test the integrity (as in the case of Alex, they did).

what kind of person would they get?

There they would get either someone with a photographic memory or a very good under pressure, or someone who already knew the trick advance. The photographic memory has very little to do with most of the needs of day-to-day business of producing videos and television programs. So that could easily eliminate some very capable manufacturers of video. If it found some good under pressure, they would need to keep things in perspective; stressful situations rarely affect more than 10% of the work, and so the question should weigh more than 10% of the interview. And if the question was the one that did the trick for the things of earth will have to prove? It could get sneaky sneaky new employer employee.

What should Alex have done?

Specifically, Alex should have (1) tried to get a little more time , so that he could cool down and think more rationally. He could have asked: “Did I understand that I can choose which one of these programs?” However, this question is being asked and the answer is available, sky-high adrenaline Alex has a chance to fall to normal levels and kick his logic in gear (under stress, emotion takes over and logic usually gets thrown out the window).

If logic had kicked Alex had realized that he and most others in that situation, would not be able to answer the question asked. Therefore, he should try to (2) to find some way around it . He could have said: “There are so many activities to choose from, I’d prefer if you plug one and I will comment on it.” What

this does is reduce the field 30 projects into one, making the problem 30 times simpler. If Alex were lucky, he might actually get more information about the selected task they outline it. Even if he did not get more information, he could accept the project and be able to comment on it. However, let’s assume that Alex was not so lucky and even as the project is declared he has no idea enough detail.

He should then have (3) associated with the project to a situation that he knows something about . “Looking at the projects ABC similar, I believe, project XYZ I once took part in … strengths and weaknesses …”

What this shows is that

  • Alex can react fire
  • He does not jump into situations, without further explanation
  • Alex has been involved in complex projects
  • He knows how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of
  • Alex is probably knowledgeable enough for this job

The “babbling idiot” is thus transformed into insight prospective employee.

summary of what to do

  1. Take swift action to buy you more time.
  2. Ask for explanations so that you know if you answer correctly.
  3. Use your own experience as a way to connect to issue a questionnaire is.
  4. Let the interviewer know that you think they may have overstepped their boundaries. “Could you re-state the question, please? I’m not sure how this question relates to this position, you could clarify that for me? 30 new projects are quite a few.” They can re-phrase or even a question. If they pull it you will know that this very tense situation for you was not important to them (but it was particularly important to you – something that you would always remember). If they rephrase the question, you may discover that it is not as difficult as you originally perceived it to be.
  5. Turn the question back to the questioner. “30 new projects are quite a few, you have a favorite?” Or, “Do you expect that I had memorized all 30?” You are now in control of a defense; you have a better chance of providing a meaningful response. You seem more collected and more intelligent -. And you have to buy more precious seconds


First, be as prepared as you can before the interview to deal calmly with all the embarrassing things you have in your life. In the interview itself, when faced with an awkward question, buy a time so you can have your feet back on the ground. Then respond best you can, drawing on actual experience with examples.


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