Yes, and … No, but …

Six-Figure Job Interview Guide

This next chapter is extremely important to remember. Sometimes you will get asked questions and it is important to answer in a specific way to maximize the response or to limit the damage if you would have to answer a question with a “No” statement.

Yes, and …

“Yes” is a very powerful word and you need to use it during an interview. Here is a quick tip on maximizing the effect of a “Yes” statement response. Here is a sample question and response.

Question: Have you managed employees before?

Answer: Yes, and I was able to take the team from just meeting business expectations to exceed expectations in less than six months after becoming the manager for the sales team.

Analysis: While you could have simply replied with that you managed people before, you can actually use this situation to point that you not only managed people, but that you are a good (great!) manager. Usage of the word “and” right after saying “Yes” is the important enforcer that turns a simple “Yes” statement into a really powerful response.

No, but …

A “No” statement during an interview can be damaging – especially if it is a critical piece of information the hiring manager was looking for. So, you will need to try to soften the impact of a “No” statement. Here is an example of how to do just that.

Question: Have you managed employees before?

Answer: No, I have not officially managed people before, but I have managed and completed very important projects before and had the opportunity to manage the project team members in many cases. While that excludes the human resources piece of managing people, it provided me with a great learning experience and as a result every project I managed so far has been a success.

Analysis: While the answer starts with the word “No” we’re using the word “but” to immediately follow-up and to soften the impact of the word “No”. No, you have not officially been a manager and have not managed people, but you have successfully managed projects and during those times you managed the team members assigned to the project.

Depending on detailed and how elegant you can reply to a question that would otherwise be a complete “No” question, you can almost wipe out the “No” and present something positive in return.

Think about different items you might get asked during an interview and which ones of those would be a “No” word situation. How does this apply? Think about missing skills of yours. A job description of lists a ton of skills that are required to have. If you do not have those skills, but still want the job the above approach can take care of it. It requires a bit of practice and preparation, but you should be able to soften many situations that would otherwise be considered negative.