How to deal with unexpected job interview questions


“Be prepared for the unexpected. Some people like to prepare for interviews by practicing their answers to interview questions on video or with a partner or friend, ”she says. Encourage the friend to ask one or two unexpected questions so that you can rehearse how you might handle it. “In this way [you] can practice putting words together because even though intellectually we know what we mean, it sometimes turns into marbles in our mouth when we try to squeeze them out, ”she explains.

Take a break and be honest

If the interviewer asks you something you really don’t know, it’s okay to take a break, Hepburn says. Breathe and respond honestly. A break might seem awkward, but “I promise you, it’s not the breaks. [that make a bad impression], “she says.” Because you don’t want to go into an organization where they ask you to say one thing, but it’s not really who you are. That’s what a lot of companies talk about. They want to hire. genuine and committed people and real collaborators. ”

You might say, “It’s not something I’ve really thought about or handled, but I can think about it,” she says. You can also offer to think about this answer and get back to them. But if you’re going this route, she says, be sure to follow up. Read this article to learn how to get the most out of your follow-up with employers after the job interview.


Or you can relate it to another situation you’ve faced that shows your ability to be challenged or think on your feet, Hepburn says. “Sometimes if it’s a technical question, you can reason it. Sometimes they know you might not have an answer and they would like to know what you think, ”she says. Relate the response to a similar situation or challenge you have encountered that showcases your problem-solving ability or your ability to think on your feet.

Get more details

People with younger children may have questions about how they will handle the schedule of a demanding job. Others who have a lot of experience or who have held managerial positions may have questions about taking a more junior job or being “overqualified”. Sometimes unexpected questions may not be clear or may circumvent sensitive issues, such as age discrimination or gender bias. In such cases, it’s a good idea to get more information on the specific concerns behind the issue, Olivier says.

“So if they say to you, ‘My God, I see here that you’ve been working at a higher level for the past 15 years. This is a junior level position. You might be overqualified. You might say, “What would be your concern about my overqualification? “She said.” And then whatever they say, then solve this problem. “

Unexpected questions can arise, but when you stay calm and answer them specifically and honestly, you can make a better impression than you expect.

Gwen Moran is a business and finance writer and author. His work has been featured in many leading business publications and websites, including Fast Company Inc., and Los Angeles Times Magazine.


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