Are you actively searching for a new job? No matter how prepared you may be, interviews can be unpredictable and challenging – even for seasoned interviewers. Knowing strategies to effectively answer even the most difficult interview questions can help you conquer nervousness and achieve top notch interview performance. Most importantly, you’ll be able to enter an interview with the confidence to present your qualifications in the most impressive manner.
As you get ready for your next interview, here some key tips to keep in mind:
Pause before responding.
When you’re nervous, it’s natural to want to speak quickly and get through your interview as fast as possible. However, rushing through your interview responses and stumbling on your words will only lead to poor interview performance. It’s best to go into any interview being mindful, taking your time and thinking clearly about what you’re going to say before rushing to respond. When asked a difficult question, don’t be afraid to take a few seconds and say something like, “That’s a great question, let me think about that.” It’s much better to think carefully about what you’d like to say before hastily answering a question.
If you’re having a problem articulating a response, consider describing an example in which you demonstrated a specific skill on the job. Including scenarios in your responses can help you illustrate your background and experience, as you’ll be showing (rather than just telling) the interviewer how you perform in actual work settings. Before your interview, think of a couple examples that are reflective of your abilities and keep those in mind as you’re answering questions.
Redirect when possible.
If you’re truly struggling to answer a question, consider redirecting your response to an area or topic you’re more familiar with. For example, if you’re asked about a skill you don’t have, consider drawing from other areas of expertise and explaining how you’ve applied transferable skills in the workplace. Even if you lack qualifications in one realm, chances are you can formulate a response based on related areas of your background to show why you’re a fit for the position. While redirecting isn’t always an option, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re asked s a question that seems nearly impossible to answer.
Bracing yourself with these strategies can help you overcome challenging interview questions. Most importantly, you’ll feel prepared to conquer any interview question – big or small – in a way that presents you in the best light possible.
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