It’s happened to each of us. You are cruising along through your interview. You feel confident in your answers and developed a great connection with the interviewer. And then it happens! You are asked that one question you really do not know the best way to answer. It is the one that you now agonize over for days and keep going over and over in your head and ask others how they would have answered. There is no way to avoid these types of questions, but you can answer them with confidence to give yourself peace of mind until you get a call back.
Remember Miss Teen USA 2007?
Unlike a pageant, do not feel pressured that you have to answer immediately after you have been asked that tough question. In fact, the contrary is true. Your interviewers will appreciate that you have taken time to formulate a thoughtful answer. So don’t be concerned by a prolonged silence, it is normal. If you have been asked a question that you do not know exactly what to say, ask for a moment to think of your response. This is preferable to taking a long time to answer without explaining what you are doing.
If you are truly stumped, ask if you can come back to the question in a moment. However, do not think that if you get to the end of the interview and you haven’t answered the question that you are off of the hook. Even if your interviewer doesn’t ask again, it has not gone unnoticed that you didn’t respond to a question. The best case scenario is for you to bring the topic back to the question and answer it accordingly. Thank your interviewer for giving you the extra time to come up with your response.
If it is a lengthy question that is broken into parts, break it down. Don’t try to answer it all at once. You can always ask for parts of the question to be repeated.