Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Sunday, April 27, 2008

difficult Interview Question

Interview question “Is that your natural hair colour?”

Believe it or not, this question was asked by a firm of solicitors in the South East of England. How do you answer such difficult questions without appearing defensive, angry or simply wanting to throttle the interviewer?

Firstly you should think about whether this is actually a firm you want to work for and how you could end the interview effectively and quickly without too much confrontation.

However if you think it’s just a momentary blip on the part of the interviewer and you’re very keen on the firm and the post they’re talking about, there are a couple of things you could do to deal with this question.

1. Answer it in a humorous way i.e. perhaps you could suggest my hair is normally pink but I have to dye it green and then black to get it into its current state.

2. Hit the ball back into their court and ask whether they dye their hair and if that’s why they’re wondering what brand you used to dye yours.

3. Ask them if they’re wearing a wig.

4. Burst into tears and see what they do.

There are very few things you can do in reality with a question like this and the person who’s asked it has effectively damaged, possibly beyond repair your relationship with them in that interview. It is unlikely that you would be offered the job anyway after a question like this because the interview would remember it in his own mind and as you are unable to answer it without provoking some sort of controversy, he is likely to remember and feel very uncomfortable about it afterwards.

This has not been the most inspirational of responses to dealing with an interview question but I regret to say that it is probably one of the interview questions that there is very little you can do about it and yourself in a good light, but as I said at the start of this article, really you must think firstly as to whether this would be a firm you would actually want to work for in the first place.

Jonathan Fagan is the Managing Director at Ten Percent Legal Recruitment (http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/). He regularly writes and commentates on the legal profession and legal recruitment as well as the legal job market.

2 comments:

Louise Triance said...

What about asking the interviewer why they want to know? If you don't understand the question (or the purpose of the question) you should always ask for clarification.

Anonymous said...

you know when you enter the legal profession you have to play the game to fit in. So next time make sure your hair appears a normal colour, in otherwords no distractions for the interviewer, then when you get the job dye your hair the brightest pink, blue and or yellow, - and then tell them to go to hell!