Sometimes a sleazy interviewer might try to fleece you by asking you to solve a problem—one of his. To make matters worst, there might not even be real job there. The reason for inviting you to interview in the first place is to pump your brain for information.
You’ll know you’re being fleeced when an interviewer asks you to solve a specific problem. The question might be presented like this: “How world you solve this problem?” Or “How would you handle this situation?” Believe it or not, I’ve had clients who reported being asked to solve problems as homework and to submit their answers in writing.
You can avoid being fleeced at interviews by not taking the bait. Instead, demur by pushing back with two points. The first is to say, with a smile and wink of an eye, “if you give me the job I’ll solve the problem.” When your interviewer comes back at you, say, “let’s face it, handling such problems is the way I make a living.” Then give examples about how you solved a problem or handled a situation similar to the one they asked you to solve for free.
You’ll handle the answer successfully by following the SIR format. The S stands for the situation you faced. Explain it. The I is your input—steps you took to solve the problem. Talk about how you did it. And the R is the result of your effort. Here, you explain the benefit. Did you create a new product, save money, or score a huge sale? Then tell it like it is. This SIR format can be used at any interview when you describe your achievements.
Of course, it’s okay to answer how you’d handle a general problem like a dispute among your employees. But when it comes to being asked to solve a specific problem and you suspect you’re being taken advantage of, avoid being fleeced at interviews.
Learn more about how to answer tough interview questions by ordering my book, Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.
Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place