Addressing an Interviewer’s Concerns During a Job Interview
The questions you ask during a job interview are a good way to bring concerns or objections to the table that the interviewer may not want to verbalize, such as child care or green card questions.
Why doesn’t the interviewer want to raise certain concerns? Reasons that employers hang back with unspoken anxieties usually relate to legal vulnerability, or the interviewer may simply be uncomfortable asking about them.
Whatever the reason, silent concerns are hurdles standing in the way of your getting the job. Before the interview is over, you need to find a way to address the thorny issues and overcome them. Good salespeople call techniques that do this drawing out objections. Once you know the issues you’re dealing with, try to calm anxieties that keep you from being hired.
Ask the interviewer questions that create openings for her to find the answers she wants but can’t figure out how to find without getting hauled into an inquiry by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Here are a pair of examples of easing an interviewer’s hidden concerns by bringing up a legally risky topic:
In your place, I’d probably be wondering how my children are cared for during the day. I may be concerned that I’d miss work should they become ill. Let me explain my very reliable child care arrangements to you . . .
If I were you, seeing on my resume that I have spent a great deal of time in Paris, I may be questioning my legal residency and, green card or no green card, whether I plan to stay in Chicago long enough to complete this project. Let me assure you . . .
Your basic choices are to allow an employer to make assumptions about you or to control the unspoken problem by telling the employer what you want known about the situation. After hidden objections see daylight, you have a chance to shoo away elephants in the room that are standing between you and a job offer.