Have you ever been asked a question during an interview and your mind went blank? Did you wish the floor to open up and swallow you alive?
We understand the importance of prior preparation of interviews to prevent poor performance. Even if you spend a lot of time preparing and practicing the interview, there is always a chance that you might be asked a question that makes you stumped. It may be scaring experience but that is not the end of the world.
The paradox of it is that when the interview is over, you tend to think of many answers which could have convinced the interviewer but during the interview, you couldn’t even think of any.
What then can you do when you can’t think of the right response at that moment?
Here are 7 tips.
1. Calm Down
Some interviewers ask tough questions not to find the right answers but to see your reactions under pressure. Take a deep breath and maintain a calm posture because this will show your confidence. If you start freaking out, the interviewer will lose faith in you.
2. Ask Questions
If you don’t understand, ask for clarifications. Go deeper to see if you can get more details that will help you figure out the best answer to give.
3. Tell Your Interviewer What You Know
After understanding the question, you may have a bit of knowledge so tell the interviewer what you understand.
4. Think Out Loud
Avoiding silences and thinking out loud about a tough interview question is a great way to keep the conversation going. This shows the interviewer how you would think and work through unexpected obstacles.
5. Don’t Say, “I Don’t Know,”
Saying I don’t know is never the best answer to the interviewer. This shows that you never did your research and may put off the interviewer. Book one on one interview coaching services and get to understand mistakes to avoid during the interviews and the best answers to give.
6. Redirect The Conversation to A Topic You’re Confident With
If you don’t have the right answer, you can change the topic to something related and that which you have experience with. If you are asked experience with a specific skill, you can direct your answer to a relevant skill. For example, I don’t have much experience with social media marketing but I am an experienced copywriter. I understand the current SEO practices. You can also mention that you are flexible to learn new skills. For example, what excited me about this position was the opportunity to learn more about social media marketing and develop my skills.
7. Answer The Question When You Follow Up with The Interviewer
Follow-up emails may give you a second chance. If you didn’t come up with the right response during the interview, you may answer the question when sending a follow-up email. This shows that you are persistent and your resourcefulness will stand out. Do not look for sympathy by saying “I’m sorry I did not have the answer.” Instead, say after more time and thought, you came up with a couple of solutions that could work for the problem.
Interviewers are not concerned with the right answers, their interest is to see how you handle challenges so don’t panic, be confident and it will be easy for you to answer difficult questions.
Want to ace your next interview?
Prepare well for the common questions and if you still have a challenge, consult our interview coaches who will help you overcome your interview fears, and tackle the hardest interview questions for you to stand out.
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