skip to Main Content

I don’t know how to answer an interview question…What do I do?

You’re interviewing for the job of your dreams and the interviewer asks a question and you have no idea of how to answer. What do you do? Ask for a moment to think of your answer. Particularly when an interview asks you a thought-provoking question, you may need time to think of what you want to say.

For example, an interviewer may ask, “If you could be any car, what car would you be?” People who don’t know anything about cars may be as stumped as those that know all about them. Calmly reply, “Would you give me a minute to think about your question?” The key is to only take some extra seconds to decide how to answer; you don’t want to literally keep the interviewing waiting for five minutes as you review makes, colors, and prices of cars in your mind. When you do decide on an acceptable answer, calmly state it, such as, “I would be a Volvo because they score so well in crash tests.”

You may leave an interview and never know the real reason an interviewer asked you a question. Unless you were asked an illegal interview question, you don’t need to know the reason. Just know that asking for time to think of an answer is perfectly acceptable during an interview. In fact, doing so may even make you look good if the interviewer perceives that you’re the kind of person who thinks before you speak.

Hallie Crawford and Terry L. Wynne, Ed.S., LPC, BCC
Certified Career Coaches

P.S. How do you know if your resume is good? Take this Resume Quiz to find out how to keep your resume out of the trash can.