I haven't seen a podcast on negotiation skills but hope that you guys have some insight.  So my question is, How do I answer the "Negotiation" question?

I am going to be re-interviewing for my ex-boss's post, when in fact I have been acting in this post for the past two years.  It would seem like a no-brainer that I would  be selected  but interestingly enough, I was not selected during an earlier selection process, which due to technicalities had to be opened  a second time. 

Through discussions with colleagues, I have been informed that even though I am qualified for the post and have been doing it for two years (in addition to my current post), management wants a Samual L. Jackson Negotiator type profile (my boss is a classic D while I am more S).  

I live overseas and work for a international organization and only discovered your site about two months ago.  Since then, I have listened to your podcasts incessantely carried out O3 for my 15-16 directs, delegated more and have seen dramatic results.

In older podcasts, I have heard Mark  mention that negotiation is based on relationships and goodwill.  Since i know that I will get this question in the interview, how would your recommend the answer to be structured? 

I assume that I will need to look for achievements where negotiation was successfully used?



mmann's picture

Hello Mike,

Perhaps I'm being dense.  Could you clarify specifically what negotiation question you expect to get?


DesmondJ's picture

Thank for your question Michael and sorry fo the delay in responding.

Basically, since I was already interviewed for this post and negotiation as a skill is part of the selection criteria, the question is something like, "tell me about how you negotiate".

I think I do a decent job in the sense that I look for solutions and focus on relationships.  I am a high S manager, so I generally do not like conflict but the profile that the boss (high D) is looking for is someone who likes to "fight for their rights ". 

Also, as an Administrative Officer in an international organization, I don't have lots of opportunities for "negotiating " with providers as all of our procurement is based on a transparent selection process (although I do occassionally need to negotiate in relation to quality of services provided).

In the last interview, I was asked, "when do your negotiations fail?"  I think my lame answer had something to do with my kids, although my D Boss is so decisive, it is at times impossible to negotiate with him.

Since there hasn't been a negotiation cast, I was wondering how this  "response" would be formulated.



asteriskrntt1's picture


There is no right answer to this. Others can chime in but this is either a pointless interview question or a question designed to see if you have a process you go through to negotiate a solution.  Is it a balanced win-win, you need to win 60% to their 40%, do you have any understanding of how to prioritize what is essential and the things you can "give up" in the negotiation. And the reciprocal, are you able to see what the other side sees as essential and absolutely won't move on.  All these things and dozens more, but show them you have some sort of road map.  And of course, show a good example of using your road map.