Don’t be afraid to disagree in a job interview

Don’t be afraid to disagree in a job interview

An interview is a two-way street.

When you’re interviewing for a job, you typically have one primary goal: impress the interviewer enough to get an offer.

Often, we think that we need to agree to succeed. However, an interview is a two-way street. While the interviewers have what you want (a job) you also have what they need (skills and expertise). When you express your true opinions, you ensure that both sides know what they’re getting.

Most engaging interviews are ones that have a healthy discussion. An open debate for problem solving demonstrates the interviewee’s ability to be curious and collaborative.

Launch tactfully for a discussion. While simply saying “I disagree” will shut down further conversation, a response framed as “This is what I see (from the outside looking in to your company) and this is what I’ve experienced (during my years specializing in this space)” invites discussion.

Ask permission to speak candidly. Say something like, “I see this differently. May I share my perspective with you?” This kind of invitation is effective as it does not make the interviewer “wrong.” If you said “I disagree” it would probably shut down the conversation.