Going through an interview can be a daunting process for many. You may practice different questions in your head, you may practice in front of the mirror but still it’s highly likely that during an interview you will end up into situations you are not fully prepared for. Many interviewers don’t only want to assess your skills but also your job preparedness. Interviewers want to assess your decision-making abilities in situations where you may not have complete information about the situation. In case you ever bounce upon such questions, here is how to handle questions in an interview you don’t know the answer to :

Thinking aloud helps –
If you are the kind of person who hates awkward silences during an interview, you can just start thinking aloud to eliminate those long pauses. If the interviewer is asking you how you would react in a certain situation or what is your process for accomplishing a specific task, simply imagine yourself in that particular situation and keep stating how you will tackle the situation. Remember to give your answer a structure and don’t talk about stuff that might not be relevant to your situation. Lastly, it is likely that the Interviewer may not like your instantaneous answer, hence finishing with a statement that shows your openness towards alternatives routes of accomplishing a task can work in your favor.
Or explicitly ask for time –

Some people are not great at instantly articulating things that come to their head, some people need more time to think. But simply staying silent can go against you in an interview. The better way to get out of this situation is explicitly asking for time with statements like – “Thank you for asking that, great question, I would like to have a moment to think about it.” Instead of stating something that may make you look like a fool, it is better to ask for time.
Have a safety answer –
What’s a safety answer you ask? Well, it is something you can fall back on when you have really no idea how to answer a particular question. There might be questions that are completely out of your expertise zone, or worse , questions about things you have never even heard about. In such situations, it is better to exhibit your passion towards the company rather than bumbling out something that doesn’t matter. Statements like – ‘I am really excited about the field and the work your company has been doing in it, while I am not fully aware about what you have asked, I would like to learn more about it on the job.” Many people appreciate honesty and people with openness to learning.
Bring your strengths to spotlight –
If you are well aware of your key strengths, this might be the best thing to do. Instead of saying you don’t have the required skills, try saying something that relates the required skills to your existing skills. For example, if you are asked questions about marketing and you are better at content writing, try to put emphasis on the importance of great storytelling and content in the field of marketing. Statements that show your excitement towards putting your existing skills towards the new job can help you put a great impression on the interviewer.

And remember , this doesn’t help 😛 –

via GIPHY

Make sure you learn something from every interview you give, being able to simply understand what the interviewer exactly wants to know or wants out of you and framing your answers around that can help you make up for the mistakes you may make during an interview.

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Posted by Rishabh Mehta

Product and revenue focused entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in creating and leading successful brands in the education & training sector, Rishabh Mehta is the founder and C.E.O of What After College, one of the fastest growing education startups in India.

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  1. […]  Read Next – How to handle questions in an interview you don’t know the answer to […]

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