Acing your response to an interview question requires pivoting off your basic answer to reinforce your strengths, motivation or fit – depending upon the true underlying question. If you don’t answer the question, you get an F. If you simply answer it, you get a C or maybe a B. An A, and ultimately getting the job in most cases, requires more.

Think – Pause for a moment and think about your answer to what was asked, your bridge, and your answer to the true underlying question.

Answer the question asked – If you don’t answer the question asked, the interviewer will write you off and won’t hear anything else you say. Not responding to the question tells the interviewer that you either weren’t listening or didn’t value what he or she said.

Bridge to answer the true underlying question – Connect the dots between your response to the question asked and the answer to the underlying true question (strengths, motivation, or fit). Find a link – a connection – and use it to get from where you are to where you need to be.

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