The Three C’s of Interview Questions

You will probably undertake an interview, advancement and career transition in your professional lifetime. Each one will come with a set of interview questions to which you’ll be required to successfully respond. There are many strategies for successfully navigating interview questions; however, it’s important not to get caught up in memorizing answers, over thinking strategies and trying to recall formulas. This could cause you to stumble or look over-rehearsed. Instead, address all interview questions with the three C’s approach: concise, controlled and contributive.

Concise. It doesn’t matter how much you want to share, you only need to respond succinctly. A short, concise, yet illustrative answer is what anyone ever needs. We only retain 10-20% of what we listen to, so you want to stick to a concise answer that hits the target head on. Also, don’t be afraid of silence. There’s no need to fill a long void with chatter when it could simply be the other party processing your answers.

Controlled. Being calm yet confident in your delivery is key. You want to ensure that you have good inflection and intonation but are still comfortably controlled in your communication. Additionally, you need to stay in control of the conversation; don’t let it steer off in a direction it doesn’t need to go or let your confidence be shaken by difficult interview questions. This also means you need to control your emotions and stress level. An interview is nothing more than a professional dialogue and should be treated as such. Behave as if you were sitting with a trusted mentor speaking about what you’re good at, passionate about and how you can positively make a difference.

Contributive. In career coaching, we focus on unearthing your value, as both you and an organization understand it. Whether or not you’re directly asked how, you need to be able to articulate and deliver how you can make a valuable contribution in most of your interview questions. This is key in building your confidence. When you see your contributive efforts and potential, everything falls into place including your answers to difficult interview questions.


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