26 Nov 2019 15:50 IST

How to tactfully disagree in a job interview

The most engaging interviews — for both sides — often involve some form of healthy disagreement

When you express your honest opinion during an interview, you present yourself as you are, not someone you believe the employer wants you to be. But disagreeing with an interviewer isn’t always easy. There is an imbalance of power and you risk coming off as difficult. But you can navigate the downside by doing a few things before, during, and after the interview.

Research the company. Is the culture one where people are receptive to new ideas? Are the organisation and its founders known for inclusion and open-mindedness, or do they have a slow-moving legacy mindset? If the interviewer states something or asks a question that gives you pause, resist the urge to answer immediately. Take time to formulate a thoughtful response. And ask for permission to provide a different viewpoint. Say something like, “I see this differently. May I share my perspective with you?”

Of course, during the interview, follow your gut. If you think disagreeing won’t be well-received, then bite your tongue. After the interview, be sure to follow up by email, even if you decide the company is not the right fit for you. Read the full article.