Don’t Know an Answer During A Job Interview?
7 Tips on How to Tackle this Situation
Just graduated? Looking for jobs? Tired of giving interviews and getting no responses? Frustrated because life has no direction right now? Here, have a shoulder to lean on.
Don’t stress too much, all of us go through this phase of uncertainty.
If you think you could improve your chances of selection through a better interview, read on. If you think your interviews are going well and you’re still unemployed, well you must read on!
Here are a few tips to help you out when interview questions might get the better of you.
- Stay calm
On being asked a question to which you don’t have an answer, your first reaction should be to hold and remind yourself, that panicking will not get you anywhere. Relax, take your time to think and analyze the question. Many times we are unable to answer even when we know, all because of our nervousness.
So, remember that the interviewer is not a Nazi soldier. Breathe. Not knowing an answer or making a mistake is normal and human. Keep your strengths in mind and focus on being positive because it will take you places.
- Listen carefully
Your presence is not just vital physically, but also mentally. It is not only using your ears that is implied by listening carefully, you need to know how to read faces and the body language of the interviewer if you really want to answer appropriately.
- Flaunt your confidence
We’ve all heard, ‘Confidence is the key to success’, but how many of us actually believe it? This is a statement that holds innumerable counts of truth. Understand that you cannot know everything. So, there is no need to get nervous if you don’t know something. You should be honest and convey that even though you are unaware, you are willing to make the efforts to understand new ideas.
Your honesty, confidence, focus, eye contact, smile and language, all will contribute to appreciation from the interviewer.
- Avoid a blatant ‘NO’
If you wish to answer in the negative, use phrases like, ‘No, but I…’, ‘I will not go for XYZ but instead prefer ABC because…’, ‘No, instead of XYZ I’d rather…’,
Such a response is best as it prevents any awkward silences after an outright ‘No’, showcases your ability to think beyond the spectrum, gives you the liberty to focus on your strengths and creates an impression of a well-versed professional candidate.
- Clarify before you answer
To provide a well thought out answer, you need to know if you need any additional information from the interviewer. Explain your understanding of the question briefly and clarify if you have interpreted correctly.
If you have not understood a question, ask them to elaborate on it. A good interview is one where both, the interviewer and interviewee engage in a free flow of communication.
- Narrate examples
Simply stating facts or saying yes or no is not enough. You must always remember to back your statements, whatever they may be, with real-life examples and reasons for your stand.
Explain yourself and go into detail if you need to make your point. Do not worry about steering away from a concerned topic. Everything you say is taken into consideration during your interview, therefore it is important to be specific where required.
- Honesty is the best policy
Your selection for a job profile doesn’t only depend on how your resume is, or how you give your interview, but most importantly on, how well you fit into the job profile. It is best, to be honest about yourself. Do not fake your answers or say things simply because you feel that is what the interviewer wants to hear.
The interviewers have experience and would know if you make up stories. And even if you are selected for such a job, it is pointless to work in a place where you have to fake your credentials. Neither will this benefit your growth nor help in the development of the company.
Since you have just graduated, to compensate for the lack of experience you should aim to showcase your willingness to learn new ideas and exhibit qualities that fit into the job profile.
The first step to a successful interview is the preparation you do beforehand. Make sure you have researched on the company and familiarised yourself with its work culture.
Have a look at your own resume and tailor it according to the position you have applied for.
Despite all the preparation, it is natural to forget certain points, or not answer some questions. You cannot know what the future holds, but only prepare yourself for it. There are always plenty of opportunities to showcase your talents.
Stay motivated and if you need more help, check out 48 Common Job Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Abhyank Srinet holds a Masters in Management degree from ESCP Europe has an
engineering degree with a specialization in Instrumentation Control. His interest in the digital landscape motivated him to create an online startup for Masters in Management application consulting (MiM-Essay.com), focused on spreading quality information about the MiM degree & performing application consulting services for clients. He is the chief consultant of the company and takes care of Business Development and Digital Marketing side of the company.
He is very passionate about writing and marketing.