Describe a time when you had to convince a friend ?

Describe a time when you had to convince a friend or colleague about an idea that you have.

This interview question is more commonly asked to job candidates for a supervisory or managerial position as it seeks to find out the ability of the person to convince or influence others. Yet, even on a regular job item, interviewers may also ask the question to job seekers to identify leadership potentials.

Not everyone is gifted with great persuasion skills, and if you are typically not this kind of person, this question may pose a challenge to you. You can be at risk for lulls and unnecessary pauses and you would not want this to happen in your interview.

Take this simple guide to structure your response fairly well and effectively.

Think of a Simple Situation

You can never go wrong with choosing a relatively simple and non-complex situation. Think of an experience without a lot of complications. Even of you have a story to tell, it does not mean that you are a winner by sharing your most complicated story. Keeping it simple is safe enough especially when in an interview. Moreover, keep the details of your story brief and meaningful. Simply present the idea and how you managed to persuade the person to go with your idea.

What Situation to Describe

Usually, the challenge in answering the question after it is asked is in the process of thinking what experience to share. An effective tip is to think of a time when you were able to successfully convince someone about something. However, steer clear of controversial issues in order to project a positive influence and keep the interviewer from thinking of prejudices about you.

You might want to share that moment when you were able to convince a friend on what color to choose, what movie to watch, or what food to eat. Stress that you were able to convince the person because you think the idea you presented is more favorable and helpful for the situation at hand.

Sound Convincing Enough

Since the question is basically about your persuasion skill, it is only fitting to also sound convincing while sharing your story. A confident and enthusiastic tone of voice will do the trick. Well, you really have to answer in this manner the whole time during the interview anyway. If you feel you have good persuasion skills, you may have an edge over the other candidates so take this opportunity to showcase your skill. The interviewer will take note of your competence and shortlist you as a potential candidate for the job.

Since this question is quite challenging to answer during interviews, the technique is to answer using simple situations with an impact. To reiterate, do not complicate your story and do keep it simple. It is also not a good idea to fabricate a story to tell since it will obviously reflect on your delivery or voice tone especially if persuasion skill is something you are not good at.

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