I use a few techniques to handle questions that I don’t know the answer to.
I noticed these techniques from speakers that I admired.
I slowly copied these techniques.
I incorporated these techniques into my conversations.
I finally made a list of techniques to share with you.
These techniques make you sound more intelligent during interviews.
These techniques help you compose smarter answers.
I use these techniques for interview questions.
I also use these techniques for day to day call center work.
I even use these tecniques for regular conversations.
It’s easy to misinterpret, mishear or misunderstand questions.
A common mistake Filipino job hunters have is that they have interview answers ready for most interview questions.
As a result, without listening to the question properly we sometimes give a full (but wrong answer) by mistake.
This had happened to me a few times.
My interviewer was totally talking about a different situation than what I understood about the question.
I gave a completely unrelated answer.
I delivered my lines confidently.
As a result my interviewer pointed out that I didn’t understand the question.
The interviewer told me they’ll have a difficult time hiring me because I wasn’t listening.
You demonstrate professionalism and listening skills when you verify and rephrase.
The question becomes clear and understood.
Better answers are thought of because you have more time to think.
You can also use it to avoid looking stupid (or lying) when you use uhmms and uhhhh’s.
If the interviewer asks:
Tell me about yourself.
So you’d like me to tell you about myself?
So you’d like me to talk about my past work?
Do you want me to talk about my entire career or do you want me to just focus on my recent work?
Tell you about myself?
Before I answer a question.
I just want to make sure that I got your question correctly.
You’re asking me to tell you about my background.
Is that correct?
Would you like me to focus on my recent work or do you want a full overview of my background?
I don’t use the same technique on all the questions but I do end up using some of the techniques a few times.
I use these techniques to buy time if I’m answering a question I’m not prepared to answer.
Sometimes I end up brainstorming the answer with the interviewer by asking the interviewer clarifying questions.
INTERVIEW QUESTION: How much is your expected salary?
Well the advertisement says the salary is around (amount).
I have an idea about your offer from the advertisement.
Can you tell me more about the packages offered?
What other benefits do you feel should I be aware of when I start working here.
You can acknowledge the question by telling the interviewer how you feel about the question.
Acknowledging the question helps you avoid sounding like a robot.
Here are my sample acknowledging statements.
That’s an interesting question.
That’s a difficult question.
That’s a challenging question.
Wow, that’s the first time I had to think about that question.
Wow’ this is the first time I had to answer this question.
I haven’t given this question much thought till now.
Stall when you need to but don’t do this often.
I use these sentences after using an acknowledging statement.
Let me think about that for a moment.
Let me think about that for a minute.
Let me think for a moment.
Let me think for a minute.
I’ll need to think about that for a moment.
Let me organize my thoughts for a bit.
I’ll need to compose my answer for a moment.
I’ll need some time to think about your question.
I sometimes repeat my acknowledge statement before and after I request for time.
That’s an interesting question.
I’ll need a moment to compose my answers.
This is the first time I had to answer this question.
This interview is really exciting.
Tell the interviewer that you’ll need time to compose if you’re stuck.
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTION: USE YOUR OWN WORDS TO DEFINE CUSTOMER SERVICE?
I buy myself a few more seconds by answering slowly.
I give a short introduction to my answer.
I usually rephrase the question.
I combine my answer with a request for time.
Wow! That’s an interesting question. ACKNOWLEDGE QUESTION
I haven’t encountered this question before. ACKNOWLEDGE QUESTION
I’ll need to think for a few seconds. REQUEST TIME
You’ld like me to use my own words to define customer service. REPHRASE QUESTION
The answer at the top of my head is…
Let me start by…
The answer at the top of my head is… Let me start by… In my opinion… (Rephrased question) is…
Correct yourself when you notice an error or think of a better answer.
Admitting your mistakes is often a step in the right direction.
Here’s how I self-correct during interview.
I say the following if I notice a mistake to instantly correct myself:
What I meant to say is…
Let me try to explain that more clearly…
Let me try again…
Wait. That didn’t sound right. I meant to say…
That didn’t sound good. Haha. Let me try again…
Sometimes I need to correct something that I said earlier.
Here’s what I say.
Do you remember how I said “ANSWER” when you asked me “QUESTION?”
I feel I gave you a poor answer.
I have a better answer now.
I feel I have a better answer now.
I realize I answered poorly.
Here’s a better answer.
You’re allowed to tell an interviewer that you don’t know if you don’t know the answer to a question.
However, do not stop at “I don’t know.”
I don’t know but let’s find out.
I don’t know. I’ll need to check.
I don’t know. Let’s discuss and come up with an answer.
Employers hire staff to help solve problems.
Questions that you don’t know the answer to are opportunities to demonstrate your problem solving skills.
It’s difficult to know where to start when answering interview questions.
Random answers are unreliable.
Saying what you feel at the moment isn’t wise.
I don’t feel that it’s the best idea to put the results of your interview to fate.
You need a job.
You’ll need to move intelligently.
I hope these techniques will help you with your interviews.
Do you have an effective interview technique that you use?
I am praying for your success. God bless!
If you made it this far, you should introduce yourself.
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