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Objection Handling & Workarounds: Curveball Interview Questions And How To Answer Them

Health & Age Issues

Though the interviewer will not directly ask your age, he may be concerned about the energy you can bring to the job.

  • Emphasize your outdoor activities like cycling, hiking, sports which show your vitality.

  • Mention how you rarely took a sick day at work in your previous job.

Gaps in work history
  • Explain that you had taken a sabbatical to help your wife launch a successful business.

  • You can also explain that you needed to devote some time for self-development, training etc.

  • Leave out months in the resume . For example:

Sales Manager, BJK Pharmaceuticals, New York City, NY (2004, 2009).

Sales Rep, TM Inc, San Francisco, CA (2001, 2004).

Not having industry experience

  • Tell the interviewer how you were able to quickly become a successfull expert in other industries by ramping up quickly. Share a short story how you went from “not knowing” to some quantified success.

  • Research the industry you are applying for and plan atleast 3 concrete ways you will quickly ramp up – for example – a relevant certification or training, work extra and help another peer in some projects to gain experience, research and books.

  • Explain some relationships your previous job had with the industry – for example you may not have worked in Oil industry, but your customers may have been suppliers for Oil & Gas. This helped you to get domain expertise about Oil & Gas industry.

Not having professional certification

  • If it is a mandatory requirement for the current position – state that it is in the works – you are studying towards it and have a concrete timeframe to achieve it.

  • Emphasize that your experience and knowledge surpassed the technical certification requirements – but you did not go for the certification since it was not a mandatory requirement in your previous job.

Past issues with the Law/Police
  • You don’t need to volunteer this information. If you have convictions that have been expunged from your record, you are under no obligation to mention them in your application or in the interview.

  • Do not lie if asked as you may be seen as dishonest and untrustworthy.

  • If your conviction is on your record, these would show up in background checks, so it may be best to address this upfront. Plan your strategy in consultation with a lawyer carefully.

Problems at a previous company.

  • You do not need to volunteer this information. But be prepared to address this if needed.

  • Prepare your explanation in consultation with a lawyer.

  • It is best if you prepare a version of the explanation which highlights these issues as trivial misunderstanding.

  • Emphasize the fact that these issues never impacted your work.

  • You may need to check with the HR of your previous company regarding the statement they will share with any inquires related to you.

Previous hiring manager is not available as a reference.

  • Not only your previous employer, you can ask the organizers of your community/religious groups, school teacher, college professor or family friend to be a reference for you. They can vouch for you as someone who is intelligent and has integrity and energy and can speak about the specific work they had observed you doing or supervised you.

  • You can also ask your peers or past managers or supervisors – not just your immediate past manager – to be your references.
  • Send your references your resume and prepare them for the questions they will get asked.