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"Share what you will do here" - how to answer that trap question

Interviewer: what will you do to grow our business / fix this problem / implement this solution

How's that a trap question?

  1. You share your plan / strategies
  2. They acquire very valuable intel
  3. You only have a ∼30% chance of being hired

Basically, you share the juiciest information, and most of the time you get nothing back.

So obviously a power-aware plan is not to give everything until you get something back.

BUT you can't say this:

You: I'm not going to share that now

That is wrong at many levels:

  • Power issue: it annoys the interviewer and/or make them suspect
  • Misses chance of displaying your skills: Nobody wants to hire a black box, after all

"I cannot share that now" would already be a step forward as it partially fixes the power issues by passing the blame onto something else.

But much better is to give something, frame it as only one thing you would do, and then framing once again as "just one thing you'd go for".
Basically, the sub-communication is "I'm giving you just a 10%, there is 10x more coming".

And then you want to pass it back to him, so you don't get grilled, but you also get his intel.

Something like this:

You: Well, having done something similar before I have different ideas in mind (first hint of you holding a valuable bag for him). Of course, I'd first have to et more details about your company (great frame: so if you say something wrong, you preframed it as you not yet having the full info)

For example, one of thing I'd consider... (bla bla bla.... )


That is just one thing I'd consider doing. Then I've got a few more ideas depending on the details of your business (ie.: don't keep grilling me, I'm not going to share everything easily unless you also share juicier details). And of course, much of it is about the execution (ie.: I'm far more than ideas and plans, I execute well), and flawless execution is what I like to focus on.

How about you, do you have something already in mind?

Now you turn it back on him to share.

So you don't empty yourself without getting back anything.

Plus, he now shares what he would like doing (or, possibly, what other interviewers have told him), so you can then approve of it, offer feedback on it, and build up on it.

That allows for rapport to develop.

Value + rapport = high odds of getting a good offer.

Ali Scarlett, Anon and 4 other users have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettAnonMist1102TransitionedJonBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Haha - I've had this interview a couple of times.  Basically they were trying to get free consulting.  I called them on it but of course didn't get the job.  This is great.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Yeah, I guess a tiny percentage of job posts might even be fake to get free consulting.

Then they can cross-pollinate ideas from candidates to get feedback on it from everyone and come up with their own plan.

Probably not the most common scenarios, but even many legit interviewers may seek to get free consulting from candidates.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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