When you express your honest opinion during an interview, you present yourself as you are, not as who you think the employer wants you to be. But disagreeing with an interviewer isn’t always easy because of the imbalance of power. Navigate the potential downsides by doing a few things before and during the interview.
First, research the company. Is the culture one where people are receptive to new ideas? Are the organization and its founders are known for inclusion and open-mindedness or do they have a slow-moving, legacy mindset? During the meeting, if the interviewer asks a question that gives you pause, resist the urge to answer immediately.
Take time to formulate a thoughtful response. And ask for permission to provide a different viewpoint. Say something like: “I see this differently. May I share my perspective with you?” Of course, follow your gut. If you think disagreeing won’t be well-received, then bite your tongue.
If the interviewer made you uncomfortable — if you felt dismissed or unheard — trust your instincts. When expressing differing opinions isn’t welcomed in an interview, it probably won’t be encouraged once you’re part of the company.