In last month’s blog, I begin to delve into some of the most important tips and tricks of the interviewing preparation period. If you follow those three steps, you will have a solid foundation to work off of when walking into your interview.
But one must always prepare for the worst, and there is always the possibility that you will not be ready for a question or scenario that an interviewer throws at you. So, for part two of “Interview Like a Pro”, we’ll be covering what to do if you end up stumped during your interview.
Take a Deep Breath and Remain Calm
The last thing that you want to do when you feel stuck is to panic. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s of the utmost importance that you don’t allow your brain to slip into a frenzy. Once panic sets in, it will be extremely difficult to recover, and your body will start to have physical reactions to the stress. Try to avoid blurting out the first thing that comes to mind, and do not immediately say “I don’t know”.
The key is to remember to breathe. It’s been proven that deep breaths help to clear your mind. Remind yourself that it is perfectly fine to not know the full answer, and then focus on coming up with something viable.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
It is perfectly acceptable to ask for clarification if you feel as though the question is unclear. Depending on your industry, it may even be expected that you ask questions. In web development interviews, interviewers actually prefer that you ask questions, so that they can have access to your thought process.
Pro Tip: Talking through your response may actually help you to clarify your thought process.
Be Okay With (Gracefully) Admitting Defeat
If you’ve tried talking through your thought process, and still can’t come to a conclusion( or you know for a fact that the question you are being asked requires specific knowledge you do not have, it’s okay to say that you truly do not know. Promise that you will follow up with the correct answer post-interview.
Always send a follow up! If you promised an answer, make sure you send it. Otherwise, send a follow-up email that thanks the interviewer(s) for their time.
Originally published at sherriesuski.com on February 22, 2016.