If you’re like most people, just the thought of going on a job interview makes you nervous. This is probably because there’s no way to know exactly what to expect.
No matter how much you prepare, you’ll still likely be hit with a few interview questions that seem to come out of left field. Maintain your cool and use this advice to devise a response that shows your fit for the job.
Take a Pause
Inevitably, your heart races when stumped on an interview question. Anxiety can cause you to blurt out the first response that comes to mind, but slow down. Thinking before you speak is crucial in an interview, so give yourself a few seconds to come up with an intelligent response.
If the silence makes you even more nervous, tell the interviewer you need to mull it over for a minute. They won’t think anything of this, because they know they’re putting you on the spot.
Share Your Thoughts
When you’re caught off guard with an interview question, try to fake your way through it by thinking out loud. For example, if you’re asked to explain a certain process — i.e., “How do you maintain a clean and safe work area?” envision yourself doing it and walk the interviewer through it. You’ll sound like an authority on the subject, and they’ll have no idea you came up with the response on a whim.
Prepare a Response to Fall Back On
It’s possible you’ll be asked a question you truly can’t answer. If this happens, it’s better to be honest than trying to come up with a reply that will almost inevitably blow your cover. In this case, craft a response that highlights your enthusiasm for the position. For example, you might say “That’s not something I’m currently familiar with, but I’m a fast learner and eager to learn more about it.”
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