So you updated your CV and you now have an interview for your dream job. You brushed up on your interview skills. No doubt you have role played the interview, researched the company, and read up on the most common interview questions. Hopefully you have also made a big effort to calm your nerves before the interview.
Of course it is impossible to be prepared for everything no matter how much you prepare. There is bound to be a question you don’t know how to answer. Especially if the questions are of the more ‘creative‘ variety’!
Whilst you can’t be expected to answer every question perfectly, it is advisable to at least know how to handle a tricky question. You do not want to freeze or start to panic in front of the interviewer. So let’s take a closer look at 5 tips on how to answer difficult interview questions.
Of course, you are eager to answer all the questions and will be determined to answer them all perfectly. The reality , however, is that no one will ever answer all the questions ‘perfectly’. Interviewers and recruiters are not expecting perfect answers either. They are more concerned about you and how you will fit into the company and role. It helps to remember that they are not looking for perfection.Stay focused on why you are there.
Try not to overreact. The interviewer will be looking for your reaction as much as anything else. They want to know how you manage tough situations and whether you would be able to handle them in the role. Take a deep breath and try and maintain your composure.
Stall For Time
You could try buying yourself some time whilst you think of a response. A great way of doing this is asking for some clarification or paraphrasing the question back to them ie “are you referring to my experience with X software specifically or do you mean it in a more general sense?”. By the time they have clarified, you would hopefully have thought of an answer.
Try redirecting the question to an area you are comfortable with. For example, if they ask if you have used a particular type of software , you can redirect it to your experience with a similar software. Talk about how much you have learnt and about your eagerness to learn more about a new area.
Another great redirection technique is to focus on the company and the role. For example ” I am not familiar with X but I’m really interested in what the company has been doing in this space and I’m really impressed with the innovations you have introduced”. It’s a great way to move away from a subject you don’t know and show off your company knowledge at the same time.
Think Out Loud
If you are asked about a situation you have not been in , think through the steps you think you would take. Say them out loud. The interviewer is interested in how you approach problems. Even if you don’t completely nail your response, you will avoid any awkward silences and maybe start an interesting conversation with the panel.
Hopefully these tips have helped and you are prepared for your next interview. The important thing to remember is that the interviewers are not expecting perfect answers. Concentrate on staying calm and focused.
We would love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a line below.