The face-to-face interview can be difficult to navigate successfully. That’s why so much has been written about the face-to-face interview: countless newsletter articles and blog posts detailing everything from what you should wear to what you should bring to how often you should smile.
In fact, this very blog has published several posts about the face-to-face interview.
However, this blog post takes a decidedly different approach to the interview. Many articles discuss the questions you’ll most likely be asked, but not many address your strategy in answering those questions—regardless of what the questions are about.
And yes, you should have a strategy when it comes to answering interview questions. You should be thinking not just about your answers, but also about how you present your answers. It’s every bit as important.
The strategic way to do so is with the short version-long version method.
The reason you need such a method is because there are different types of questions, and not just based on their content. Some questions are more open-ended, while others are quite specific. As a result, it makes sense that they’re approached and answered in a different fashion.
The trick is to identify which questions need to be answered in which fashion, and that is NOT always an easy thing to do.
For example, if a question appears to be open-ended, but you don’t know for sure, you could say the following: “Allow me to give you the short version of my answer. Then, if you’d like me to answer more fully, I’d be happy to do so.”
Doing this has two main benefits:
In addition, using the short version-long version method communicates to the interviewer that you want to organize your thoughts and frame your response correctly. It sets the proper tone for the interview and ultimately paves the way for a discussion that is more productive and will brand you in the most positive way possible.
Provided, of course, that the content of your answers is just as astute as the manner in which you supply them.
Time Staffing Inc.