Interviews can be daunting. Sometimes, despite doing your best to research the company and the role beforehand, you can still find yourself in a tricky situation on the day. Here are some top tips on how to deal with problems that may arise:
You don’t know the answer to a question
You may not be able to think of an answer to competency question asked, or you perhaps haven’t had the right experience. If you are in this situation, you could ask for the question to be repeated, and use that extra time to gather your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask for a moment if you feel you have gone blank. You may get a difficult question that you feel you really can’t answer; if this happens, try breaking down the question and answering as best you can. Occasionally, the employer will push you for further details – if that happens, it’s better to admit that you have nothing to add than to make something up on the spot; don’t forget, you can always ask to return to that question at the end if you think of something to add.
You get a complicated and/or multi layered question
When you get a long question, it can be hard to know where to start. It’s important to be clear on answering each section of the question so that you don’t miss any elements; it’s okay to ask for a minute to think about it before you put your answer forward. That only tells your employer that you’re considerate and put thought into your responses before you commit to them; a quality they’ll surely want in the job!
You’ve answered a question before it has been asked
Sometimes interviewers will ask you the same question twice but in a different format, or you might have answered it as part of your response to a previous question. If this does occur, the best thing to do is try to cover areas that you may have missed first time around, and don’t worry about repeating yourself – in fact, do repeat yourself if you need to, otherwise the interviewer’s notes may not show a full answer when they review it later.
Your interviewer is rude
The interviewer may be really busy, having seen candidates before you and some after your interview therefore they may be in a hurry. You may feel the questions are being fired at you one after another and that they are looking for an immediate response. However, as long as you stay composed, you should be able to answer the questions at your own pace. If you feel the interviewer is being rude and appears disinterested towards you then don’t let this affect you in a negative away, try to ignore it and carry on impressing them with your answers. It may be a test to see how you respond in difficult situations; you could inject some humour into the interview to lighten the mood. If you come out of the interview feeling thoroughly offended, though, it might be worth asking yourself if you really want to work for them anyway!
You realise you’ve got the answer wrong
In most cases there isn’t a right or wrong answer. The interviewer is looking for key transferable skills, and those can be showcased in any number of ways. Occasionally, however, you may feel that there was a right answer, and that you haven’t given it; for example, if the interviewer repeatedly asks you if there’s anything else you’d like to add to your answer, it’s a good indication that you’ve missed a detail. Where possible, correct any errors at the first opportunity; if you truly don’t know what you should have said instead, chalk it up to experience. You did your best!