One of the best ways to score “brownie points” during an interview is by playing the challenge and contribution game card. Simply put, you want to present yourself as someone who relishes challenges and who will strive to make a valuable contribution to the team/company.
I like to work in an environment that gives me the opportunity to be challenged over and over again and, most importantly, where I am able to make a contribution.
Using the C&C gambit (Challenge and Contribution), you can shine in many answers during an interview. I have used this technique during each interview I had in the past, and I always felt it made a significant impact. When conducting interviews myself, I never had a candidate use this, so I was able to see the impact of using the “Challenge & Contribution” option from both sides of the desk. I highly recommend using the C&C option at least twice during an interview if you have the opportunity to implement it. If you do not have the opportunity to use it as part of a response, create a question scenario where you can use it.
Here is a question where the C&C option fits in perfectly:
“I always liked to work in environments where I am challenged on a recurring basis and where I am able to make a contribution to my team’s success. Does your company offer such an environment?”
So, here you created your own question and at the same time point out that you like challenges and that you like to make contributions to the success of a team or a company. It almost cannot get better than that.
Here is an example question where you get asked about something that allows you to implement the challenge and contribution scenario:
On the job, what do you enjoy doing the most or the least?
I usually answered this part of the question with something like this: “Work is work, and no matter what you throw at me, I will get the job done.” This part of the answer shows dedication and will tell the hiring manager that he or she can count on you.
But even better—from here you can implement the C&C option: “I least enjoy it when I’m not being challenged on a daily basis or if I feel like I’m not able to make a contribution.”
The great thing here is the way you can use something negative and turn it around to show dedication and the desire to get stuff done. You can probably see how powerful the C&C option is. Use it accordingly.