Certain questions may come up in a job interview where, on the surface, it seems like you are only being asked to reply with a simple "Yes" or "No." These questions include:
- Do you manage conflict well?
- Do you manage pressure well?
- Are you a goal-oriented employee?
- Are you a team player?
- Have you done anything to enhance your skillset?
- Do you handle criticism well?
All these inquiries could be answered with a simple yes or no response; however, the hiring manager is looking for something more than that.
Why Are Yes/No Questions Asked?
The reason why these seemingly close-ended questions are asked is to see if you are willing to give information about yourself without necessarily being prodded. Naturally, no one is going to say that they are not a team player or goal-oriented. Responding "Yes" is to be expected, but your answer is not over yet. The interviewer wants to hear an example of a time where you showed you were a team player or showed that you were goal-oriented. Honest examples are vital when it comes to a proper response.
No matter what example you give, you need to be able to elaborate. Simply saying that you have handled pressure well at your last job is not enough. You need to give an example of a time you were put under pressure to complete an assignment or maybe there was a time where you were under pressure as a result of work-related responsibilities and outside forces. Next, you want to mention how you were able to overcome this problem and produce stellar results. This same basic principle applies to any question you might be given that necessitates a "Yes" or "No" response. These inquiries should be viewed as an opportunity for you to discuss your prior work experience in greater detail so that the hiring manager has a better sense of what you will act like if given the job.
How to Answer Yes/No Questions
There are several ways to give the best, most relevant response to these types of questions. When giving an example, you want to try to give a relatively recent example. You do not want to give an example of a time you handled criticism well from a job you had 10 years ago. People change over time, and just because you were able to take criticism positively at a certain point in time does not mean you will still be able to now at least in the interviewer's eyes. If possible, you should give an example from your most recent job, so it is conveyed that you have showed this skill somewhat recently.
Something else to keep in mind is that not all of your examples have to be work-related. If you have recently graduated from school, you can use answers that relate to your experiences in the classroom. For example, if you are asked if there is anything you have done to improve upon your skillset, you do not have to talk about skills you learned at a previous job. You can talk about taking classes to improve your range of skills. You could also talk about various hobbies you have that relate back to your skills as an employee. Your response to one of these questions can be an excellent opportunity to show that you have interests outside of the office.
These kinds of questions are not ones where you should take a long amount of time to give your answer. You should not have to think about a time where you were a team player because the interviewer will want to see that you already know off the top of your head why you are able to work as part of a team. Therefore, you should spend some time before the interview coming up with your response to these questions or questions like these ones. This will allow you to give your answer without pausing for a few moments, which can be viewed as a potential red flag to many employers.
Responding with a "Yes" or "No" is basically doing the bare minimum. Hiring managers want to see that you are willing to go above and beyond, so be prepared to talk about yourself in detail when responding to these questions.