You’re in the midst of your job interview, and things are going well.
The interviewer has asked you a few questions, and you’ve given some great answers.
But then the interviewer throws you a curveball. They ask you to share your thoughts on something you don’t agree with. What do you do?
Why it’s okay to disagree
For one thing, it shows that you’re not afraid to stand up for your beliefs.
It also shows that you’re not afraid to ask questions and challenge the status quo. And most importantly, it shows that you’re confident in your conviction.
But there’s a right way and a wrong way to disagree. The wrong way is to be confrontational. So if you feel like you disagree with something your interviewer has said, go ahead and speak up—just make sure you express your views calmly and respectfully.
How to disagree tactfully
There’s a big difference between being assertive and being aggressive, and you want to stay on the polite side of things.
Here are a few tips for how to do that:
- Stay calm. Don’t get flustered if you don’t agree with your interviewer. Stay cool and collected, and state your case plainly.
- Acknowledge the other person’s opinion. Start your disagreement by saying something like, “I see where you’re coming from, but here’s why I think…”
- Make your argument clear. Be prepared to back up your disagreement with facts and reasoning. The more solid your argument, the more likely you are to convince your interviewer.
How to make sure you’re still likable
Let’s face it: we all want to be likable.
We want to be the person that people enjoy being around, the person that they think is fun and interesting. And when we go into a job interview, we want to be that person.
But what if you don’t agree with the interviewer? What if you have a different perspective? Do you have to keep your mouth shut, or can you disagree in a way that’s still likable?
Well, express your thoughts without attacking the interviewer or putting them on the defensive. You want to make sure that the interviewer sees you as someone they would want to work with. And you can do that by disagreeing with the subject matter, not against anyone.
You should never be afraid to disagree during a job interview. Chances are, your interviewer is looking for someone who has opinions and isn’t afraid to voice them. If you can back up your arguments with evidence and reasoning, you will only stand to benefit from the exchange. Disagreeing with your interviewer is an approach to show that you’re not fearful to stand up for what you believe in and to take on a challenge. Remember: it’s better, to be honest, and upfront than to hold back and regret it later.