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If multiple interviewers ask the same question, should the candidate try to use the same examples each time a given question is asked or use different examples?

I recently interviewed with a company and although I don't think they used the ICT, they definitely used something kind of like it (large company).  The first 3 interviewers basically all used the same set of questions (the last one was someone who would report to this position and didn't use the script).  They were all behavioral interview questions (at least the scripted ones were).

I was impressed with this approach, which seemed consistent with MT guidance.  Of course each interviewer had a different approach and not all of them used every question, etc.  But as I sat there responding to questions (for nearly 4 hours, all told), I was wondering whether I should be trying to tell them all the same thing or whether I should be mixing it up.  I'm assuming they'll compare notes afterward, and wasn't sure if it would be seen as weak to give the same answer to everyone, or whether it would be weaker to mix in perhaps lesser accomplishments that would show more than one example to the collective group.

I was probably somewhere in between -- recycled plenty of accomplishments, but in some cases thought of additional examples and used them in later interviews.

I'm assuming the approach would be to use the best accomplishments I have.  So I wouldn't want to use weaker examples just for the sake of mixing it up, but would it be a negative if they all got the same answers?

mattpalmer's picture

but I have been through day-long tag team interviews (don't get me wrong, though, I really enjoyed them), and I don't think I've ever had the same question put to me by different people.  It smacks of the interviewers not coordinating their approach in advance, and if I were an interviewer and afterwards got together with the others and discovered we'd all asked the same questions, I'd be a little mortified.

To my way of thinking, if three people asked you the same question, it'd be perfectly reasonable to give the same answer.  If they want different answers, they should be asking different questions.  You did the right thing not to call them out about it, or draw attention to it, but if it were me (and I hope someday soon it will be me), I wouldn't ding anyone for answering the same question the same way multiple times.

buhlerar's picture

Thanks, Matt.  Perhaps I'm misremembering the guidance I've heard over the years, but I'm pretty sure MT recommends that all interviewers ask the same questions (at least the behavioral ones specifically directed at the position responsibilities) so I was impressed by their approach overall.  Of course, some of the interviewers were a little smoother than others at using this approach.  But for whatever reason I never really thought about what I'd do if a company actually did this, because I've never encountered it in real life.

But I'm hoping to hear from anyone who has experience conducting interviews like this.  What are you looking for in candidate responses?  Obviously the ultimate goal is to find a fit, not to nitpick each answer in depth, but curious what to look for as a hiring manager in this format.

Thanks again.

mfculbert's picture

Buhlerar,

The MT approach we adapted for our last hiring round did have the entire team asking a basic set of questions. Each of us asked a few others that were important to us individually. As the interviewee, answer the way that you feel is correct. If you missed it the first time,  you get another chance. If you nailed it first time, repeat your answer.

PhilArmstrong's picture
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I had been trying to find the answer to this one for a while. Thanks