Executive Rewind: How to Handle Media Questions about Your Competition

It’s inevitable, especially in business interviews, to get questions that pit you against your competitors.

These are good opportunities to establish your competitive advantage.

For instance, diet program Jenny Craig CEO Monty Sharma responded to a question about the troubles facing Weight Watchers. Rather than jumping on that bandwagon, Sharma drew the distinction between app-based programs and his company’s policy of personal attention:

You might expect that Dunkin’ Donuts sees Starbucks as a bitter competitor. Nay, nay, according to CEO Nigel Travis:

Note how Travis praised Starbucks and its CEO, Howard Schultz, while also establishing Dunkin’s advantage for convenience.

Meanwhile, Caribbean Cruise Lines now is doing business in China. And instead of seeing Virgin Cruise Lines as a threat for his business, CEO Richard Fain says quite the opposite:

In each case, these three CEOs were focused on their target audiences—typically the investment community—and took advantage to highlight their positives.

When you’re preparing for a business (or any) interview, remember who your target audiences are, anticipate the competition (or any other potentially negative) questions and then prepare answers that are positive in nature, and help set you apart.

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