Not Sure How to Answer an Interview Question?
You’ve spent hours preparing for the big interview. You know everything there is to know about the company, the position, and the skill set needed. How do you prepare for the unexpected? You can’t prepare for every single question the interviewer will ask. There will inevitably be a question you don’t know the answer too. Let’s take a look at 4 ways of handling the unexpected question.
Take a Deep Breath and Slow Down
When you do not know the answer to a question you are being asked, the last thing you want to do is accidentally blurt out the wrong answer and have to backtrack. Take a deep breath and rephrase the question in a way that allows you more time to collect your thoughts, but also acknowledges to the interviewer that you heard the question. This extra time will allow you to come up with a better, more thoughtful answer.
Explain Your Thought Process
There’s nothing wrong with thinking out loud. In fact, in many cases showing your ability to problem solve during the interview will impress the hiring manager. Explain where your thought process started and how you arrived at your answer.
Redirect the Question into Familiar Territory
This is one of the most well-known tips for answering interview questions that you don’t have an answer for. Let’s say the interviewer asks if you have experience working with a particular computer program that you’ve never worked with before. Explain that you have never used that particular program, but you are familiar with x, y, and z programs and are very proficient and willing to learn any new programs necessary for the position.
Redirecting is a great way to show that you are still qualified with relevant skillsets, instead of just saying “No, I’ve never heard of it” without further explanation.
Never Ever Lie – Come Clean
One of the worst mistakes you can make during an interview is to lie about a question you do not know. Spouting off made up answers and moving on as if it is fact, is not impressive to employers. If all else fails, confess that you do not know the answer to the question and then follow it up with how you would go about finding the answer.
A Word to the Wise
It is important to remember that employers are not looking for candidates who have all the answers. They want candidates who are motivated, willing to learn and know how to problem-solve. When you work with Personnel Source to find your next great job, we will not only help you find jobs that are a match to your skill set but also help you prepare for the big interview! Contact us today for more information!