Each interview has at least one, a question that you really don’t know the best way to answer. It is the one that you agonize over for days and keep going over it and over it in your head and you ask others how they would have answered. There is not way to avoid
these types of questions but you can answer them with confidence to give yourself peace of mind until you get a call back.
Do not feel that you have to answer immediately after you have been asked a question. You are not on a game show where the fastest contestant to answer wins. Your interviewers will appreciate that you have taken time to formulate your answer. If you are concerned by a prolonged silence – don’t be, it is normal. If you have been asked a question that you do not know exactly what to say, ask for a moment to think of an appropriate answer. This is preferable to taking a long time to answer without explaining what you are doing.
If you really can’t think of an answer off of the top of your head, ask if you can come back to the question in a moment – keep trying to think of an answer. Don’t think that if you get to the end of the interview and you haven’t answered the question that you are off
of the hook. Even if your interviewer doesn’t ask again, it has not gone unnoticed that you didn’t respond to a question. The best case scenario is for you to bring the topic back to the question and answer it accordingly. Thank your interviewer for giving you the extra time to come up with the right answer.
If it is a lengthy question that is broken into parts, break it down into, don’t try and answer it all at once – you can always ask for parts of the question to be repeated.
What Were Your Greatest Accomplishments So Far? A job-interview primer.
Amazon Instant Video
Rent or Buy with 1-Click®
*** Exclusive footage showing the best of the best from the top Ivy-league schools in actual job interview situations.*** Authentic examples of the use of professional body language and gestures of actual job candidates.*** Unique, top-notch strategic insights into the career culture at Harvard, Babson, Bentley,Suffolk and Brandeis. *** Effective demonstration of power-posture
I bought the DVD from CareerConceptZ and this is the best purchase I made during my job-search. It is full of insights from hiring managers, recruiters and then there are tons of interviews of Harvard MBAs among others. Definitely helped me get into my current position.
You can prepare for an interview until you are blue in the face and still get stumped on a question during the process. It is okay, it happens to a lot of people. Some questions come out of left field, sometimes you draw a blank, and others – you really don’t know what to say. Here is a brief run down of what you can do in these three situations.
A (Seemingly) Off Topic Question – These may be thrown in to the interview out of curiosity by the interviewer or to gauge your knowledge on a certain subject. It is not a reason to dismiss the question though and not pay it the care and attention you would to any other one. Do your best, and if you really can’t figure out the correlation between the
question and the job you are applying to, you can ask at the end of the interview – along the lines, “out of curiosity….”
You Draw a Blank – Ask for a minute to compose your answer, and do some fast brainstorming. If you feel that the silence is becoming uncomfortable, you can ask to come back to the question at the end of the interview. As long as you do go back to it, this is an acceptable solution. Silence is okay during an interview when you are trying to think of an answer, do not feel obligated to fill the silence, concentrate on the answer you want to give.
You Don’t Know What to Say – If it is a matter that you are sure what the interviewer is looking for in an answer, ask for clarification. Sometimes asking for an example of what they mean can guide you in what you should say. If you take a shot in the dark, you might provide what they want – but why take the chance?
The Place for help with Job Interviewing and all aspects of the job search process