Article, Sell yourself in an interview by answering unasked questions, by Sharon Graham :

Sell yourself in an interview by answering unasked questions
Sharon Graham, CPRW, CEIP, CRS, CIS

If you are a $100k+ job seeker, there will come a time when you will be sitting across from your next boss at the interview table – and, this all-important meeting might also be the toughest one you encounter.

Ideally, hiring managers should be able to ask pertinent interview questions and create a meaningful discussion. But in the real world, your next interview is likely to be a new experience for the interviewer. Just as you have rarely had to go to an interview, the person on the other side of the table only infrequently has to interview a six-figure professional. It’s very likely that he or she is just as excited and nervous as you are – excited about having the opportunity to select a strong candidate to complement the team, and nervous because this decision is going to cost the organization at the very least $100k a year.

You’ve heard that interviewing is a two way conversation, so this is your chance to make a positive impression. Your job is to make your interviewer feel comfortable, develop a mutually helpful discussion, and sell yourself by answering all the unasked questions.

Learn about the challenges

You cannot help the organization if the person interviewing you is withholding important information. Sometimes it is easy to learn about the job objectives, but much more difficult to uncover the challenges involved. Try to delve into areas that would normally be left unsaid. After all, if everything was fine, there really would be no need to hire someone new. Once you learn about these concerns, address them with strong examples of how you resolved similar issues in the past.

Create rapport

If the interviewer is talking too much about himself or herself instead of your qualifications, then, change the course of the conversation. Acknowledge the interviewer’s comments and try to find areas that you have in common. Then, transition the conversation and create rapport by discussing one of your achievements that closely parallels the employer’s own accomplishments.

Start a discussion

If the interview starts to feel like a cross-examination directed at you, change the mood in the room. Pause and ask a question that will help you to refocus the discussion and allow you to explain how you can meet the employer’s needs. Once you have received a response, delve further into the interviewer’s response to your question to explore how you can address their needs.

Take the initiative

As you near the end of the interview, if something was left unsaid, you must find a way to bring it up. Take the plunge and indicate to the interviewer that you have some additional details to share. If there is something that you feel you need to learn, ask the question. Taking initiative will strengthen your position as a viable candidate and a leader.

Your prospective employer will want to know all the pertinent information to select and appoint an effective professional. It is in your best interest to know what information you want to communicate and make sure to answer any questions that you feel should have been asked. By answering the unasked questions, you will have better control of the interview, your message, and ultimately, the outcome.


Sharon Graham is Canada’s Career Strategist and Higher Bracket’s principal résumé expert. A recognized career transition expert, she is president and principal consultant for Graham Management Group, founder and executive director of Career Professionals of Canada, and author of Best Canadian Resumes. With multiple certifications in résumé, interview, and career strategy, Sharon has elevated the industry by delivering cutting-edge innovations to résumé writers and career practitioners across Canada. She assists six-figure job seekers though her consulting firm Graham Management Group, You can reach Sharon by e-mailing


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