Imagine A Job Interview To Solve Work Problems

Got a difficult issue at work you can't deal with? Try imagining how you'd explain the issue in a job interview and you might come up with a solution.

Picture by usfbps

Lifehacker reader Simon wrote in and explained how that method has worked for him:

I work in an office environment, and was having issues with an underperforming younger employee. I knew he had the potential to make a great contribution. Unfortunately, nothing I tried was working, and I was struggling to think of new ways to approach the situation.

At that point — and I’m not sure why my brain started this process — I visualised myself in an interview for my dream role.

During the hypothetical interview the interviewer said: "Tell us about a time when you were working to manage an underperforming employee, and how you resolved the situation."

As soon as I started running through what the perfect interview answer would be — the sort of thing you often make up on the fly during an interview — I saw the perfect way to manage the situation.

Without going into details on the solution, I implemented the interview answer, the situation was satisfactorily resolved, and our team has been noticeably strengthened.

I have since used it at other times when problem-solving is required, and it has not failed yet. All that has to be done is to step back, see what the problem is, and imagine a panel asking you "tell us about a time you managed Problem X.:

The other upside, of course, is that if you record what actions you took and what the outcomes are, then you will quickly build up an awesome bank of solid and genuine responses to interview questions.

The success of this method might depend on how confident you are in job interviews, but it's definitely worth a try.


    Good tip but it'll be good to know what Simon really did to manage the situation since it is a very real-life situation that exists in almost every organization and team.

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