Interviews are stressful, even for the most seasoned professionals. That’s why it can be easy to fall into the trap of preparing extensively for the questions we perceive as more challenging like “tell me about a time when…” at the risk of underestimating the importance of preparing solid responses for the seemingly simple ‘yes/no’ questions. However, answering questions with a simple yes or no is equivalent to answering a question about ‘what your leadership style is like’ by responding ‘good’.
After all, hiring managers are asking questions in order to get to know you and better understand how you might communicate with others within the organization were you to be hired for the position. Simple questions like ‘have you ever overseen survey readiness’ are designed to reflect the kinds of interactions and conversations clinical leaders might have during their day-to-day interactions. Clearly, the typical response to these kinds of questions goes beyond a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Knowing these, below are the 3 most common yes/no interview questions and best practices for answering them.
- “Have you ever…?” If you have relevant experience in the related area, give a detailed explanation of what you were able to accomplish and how. If not, address what necessary skillset it would require to be able to oversee the related area and explain why or how you would be willing to develop that skillset (if you truly are).
- “Do you know how to…?” If you do, great. Offer a brief explanation of what that skillset is and how you have applied it to either your personal or professional life. If not, respond with a simple ‘not yet’. After all, there was a time before you developed every clinical, leadership, business, or personal skill you now have. Hiring managers want to know that candidates are willing to do what it takes the develop and grow within the role.
- “Are you good at….?” The context behind these kinds of questions can vary broadly. Whether the interviewer is asking about a personal, clinical or technical skill, it is best practice to give an honest example about a time when you effectively demonstrated your capabilities in the given area. If the answer is genuinely no, then be honest with the hiring manager but note that they are looking for candidates who are competent in that area.
In case you missed it:
- Competency-Based Interviewing: A How To Guide Using SBAR
- In-Person Interview: Best Practices
- How To Make “So Tell Me About Yourself” Your Strongest Interview Moment
1Prossack, A. (April 25, 2019) Avoid This Mistake When Answering Yes/No Questions In A Job Interview