Use The 'Why' Question In Job Interviews To Demonstrate You're Proactive

Job interviews can feature all kinds of strange questions, but one of the trickiest is one of the simplest: Why?

Picture: Getty Images/Quinn Rooney

Being able to justify any decision you've made in your career will go a long way towards persuading a potential employer that you're a good fit. However, choosing the right kind of reason is equally important.

Joel Peterson, chairman of US airline JetBlue, suggests that there's an important element you can highlight whenever you answer this question: demonstrating that you were making proactive decisions, rather than simply reacting to the decisions of others:

People are often moving toward things or away from things. I like people who are moving toward things. I think when people are moving away from things all the time in their narrative -- like getting away from a boss they hated -- that's a judgment question to me.

Not every decision can be controlled by you. However, in a job interview, you have the chance to edit your narrative and highlight those areas where you did make an active decision.

Joel Peterson of JetBlue on Listening without an Agenda [New York Times via Business Insider]


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