Someone I know had a job interview today. As we talked about the experience, I was impressed by the ways they answered several of the questions that were asked of them during the interview.


This person answered each question in a way that was unambiguous. No 'weasel words', as I like to call them. Not necessarily brutally frank, either. Simply clear. Describe a thought, concept, experience. Then stop. Give the interviewer time to breath, to react.


This person answered questions in a way that demonstrated 1) they had prepared for the interview,  and 2) they carefully considered the questions that were asked. No jumping to an answer. I happen to know that this person had been preparing for the interview for a month. It showed.

As for preparation, when I interview someone, the very first question I ask is, "Please tell me what my company does and why it's important." Be ready to not only answer that, but explain how you can help.


This person answered questions with humble honesty. If they didn't know, they said so.

I can't tell you how many times I've interviewed people who guess when asked a question they cannot answer. Many times I have said, "Please don't guess. If you don't know, the best thing you can do in this interview is humbly admit that you don't know."

Note that this person has a habit of using a common idiom: "To be honest..." I advise people to drop this phrase entirely, or substitute "To be frank..." I will *always* be honest with you. I may not always be frank with you. When you use "To be honest...", we don't mean to say that were are now switching to honesty. :-)

Instead of, 'To be honest, I don't have experience with Adobe Photoshop," say, "I don't have experience with Adobe Photoshop." Same message in both cases. 

To take it a step further, answer with humble honesty while drawing on your strengths and experience in other areas to demonstrate that lacking that particular skill isn't a problem. "I don't have experience with Adobe Photoshop, but I do have experience with 2 lower-end image-manipulation software packages. I believe that I could adapt and enhance those skills to using the more-powerful Adobe platform."