Most of us feel that we are smart and capable to answer and handle difficult questions in a job interview. The problem only gets serious when we have to answer a difficult question in an unfamiliar circumstance, like a job interview. What should be our strategy to handle such a situation? In this Skillopedia video you would learn how to handle the most difficult questions asked in a job interview and enhance your Job interview skills. Firstly, you should try not to panic and be confident even if you don’t know the answer to a particular question in a job interview. Secondly, continue watching this video in order to master the Job interview skills for handling difficult questions in a job interview.
You should ask for clarification if the question seems unclear
Mostly, the problem is not with how you understands the question but many times it’s about how a question is asked.
The interviewer often puts the questions in unclear words and the question appears as too broad to be answered. In such a scenario it’s best to ask the interviewer for more clarity upon the question.
For example if you are asked a question like ‘Where do you see this role heading in the next three years?’ you would feel that the question is too broad and you may ask the interviewer to narrow it down to a more specific one.
You could reply with an answer like this, ‘That’s a great question, but I’m not sure where to start! Is there any way you could be a bit more specific with that question?’ The interviewer may then reply with another question like ‘How do you think the primary responsibilities will change for this job role in the next three years?’. This is an easier question to answer and all that you were required to do was to ask for clarification.
Use flexible terms for your advantage
We are often asked questions with words that could be used either for the interviewer’s benefit or ours. These words help the interviewer be tricky with us. The good news is we could use such words to our benefits as well. For example, if the interviewer asks about a time you “failed” at work. You need not actually tell about one such time when you missed a deadline instead you could talk about a time you failed to maintain a work-life balance and worked overtime for a week harming your personal life while benefiting the company.
Your Attitude matters as much as your Answers
Most of the questions asked in an interview are to test your knowledge of the job profile. But some are also asked to see how well you fit the job role and this when your attitude counts.
If you appear nervous while answering a tricky question, that affects your overall impression. Even if you don’t know the answer to a question, try to maintain your cool and confidence. It’s natural to not know the answer to some questions. The interviewer does not expect you to know the answers to all the questions. He/ She might be trying to test how you respond to difficult situations.
For example, suppose you are asked how you would imagine yourself working with the Advertising Department as a salesperson in a new company. Though you may know nothing about working with the Advertisement department and you don’t know what you would do in reality, but talking with confidence about how much you would like taking up challenges and newer opportunities to gain new experience in a different department, will win you some brownie points!
How to respond to personal questions?
Sometimes you could be asked an inappropriate or provocative question in an interview, for example: ‘Are you thinking of taking time out the workplace to have children in the near-future?’ It can be hard to know how to respond to such a question.
The best way to answer such a question is to react in a short, assertive manner (‘No, I am not’) and lead their attention towards another topic. For example, you could respond by saying – ‘No, I am not, as I am dedicated to use my wide experience in this field to develop my skills in different areas.’
Practice control and pauses
In order to answer tricky questions we need to practice pauses and a controlled tone. The former means that we should take a second or two to answer a tricky question. This allows us a few seconds to recollect our thoughts and to appear confident. The latter means that we need to have a controlled tone so that we don’t spear too nervous. At the same time, this means that we shouldn’t sound too nervous or scared.
Even though this man not directly help you answer a tricky question but this will make you look more confident and the interviewer will tend to make an image of you as being in control and knowledgeable.
Sometimes you can choose to answer a question with a question.
If the interviewer asks you a question, you could also ask him a question back, but do this only if it’s a really tricky question.
If you turn the tables on your questioner, it can encourage a discussion and sometimes even prevent them from expecting you to answer the original question.
Let’s take a real life example, suppose your child asks you whether you and your spouse are getting divorced. This could be awkward or uncertain territory. How do you answer such a question? We mostly reply by answering a question with a question, such as, ‘Why do you ask that?’ can work well in this case.
But you can’t ask this question to the interviewer, if he asks you a question that you are not comfortable to answer, you could politely say, “If I may ask, what your opinion on this matter is?”
Leave on a positive note
If you feel that any of your answer does not satisfy the interviewer, it’s best to smile and end the conversation on a positive note. This would allow the interviewer to capture a positive image of your overall personality.