Have you ever been asked a question during an interview and your mind went blank?
What did you do?
This is a common experience during interviews especially if you are overwhelmed with nervousness or if you are not sure of how to go about it.
You are often told to practice, practice and practice but even if you spend much time preparing for the interview, a question which you don’t know how to answer may be thrown to you.
A technical question or something you didn’t expect may stump you throwing you off and this may shake you up.
If you have an upcoming interview, apart from preparing for common questions, you should also learn what to do when an uncommon question is asked and you don’t know how to answer.
So, what can you do when you have no idea of how to respond to a question?
Here are 5 pain-free approaches.
1. Maintain Professional Appearance
When you have no idea of how to respond to a question that you are not sure about it, you may look confused but try to remain calm and respond in the best way possible.
Taking deep breaths, smiling, and making appropriate eye contact will make you look professional and will reduce your anxiety.
2. Ask For Clarification
If you did not understand the question well, it may be because the interviewer did not give full details. Seek clarifications by asking a question.
You may respond by asking a question about the answer you want to give. If it is a question that you don’t understand, ask the interviewer to clarify as this will help you get more details that will help you figure out the best answer to give.
3. Have a Fail-Safe
Some questions may call for the definition of certain terms and understanding of concepts. You should take when preparing for the interview to familiarize yourself with keywords in the industry about the position, and the company.
This will give you a rough idea of what to answer. Give a fail-safe answer that shows your enthusiasm about the position.
4. Give Idea Of What You Know About The Topic
A question about current events may be asked and if you do not have the answer, do not be silent. Own it and redirect your answers to the area that you are familiar with.
Answer by connecting to similar skills than saying you don’t have the skills they are looking for.
Be honest about your interest and give details of what you know about the subject. Express your interest in learning because it can show the employer you are dedicated to developing.
5. Take Your Time
It is not a good idea to jump into answering a question without structuring how to respond. Employers ask tricky questions to check if you are taking time gives you time to think of how to approach it.
Gather your thoughts and ensure that you don’t mention anything that signals that you are stumped.
The objective of an interview is to stand out and employers may ask some questions not expecting the actual answer but to check if you can figure out lessons from the question. If you can structure your responses well, you will have a chance of separating yourself from the pack and winning a job offer of a callback. Above all, remember to learn from your past interview experience.
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