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How do you Answer an Interview Question That you don’t Know the Answer to?

The following outtake, focused on acing interviews is taken from a recent exclusive recording of an MMC Learning moments talk by Andrew Ramwell, a director, business coach and business consultant for Know and Do Limited.

In this extract, Andrews talk about how to go about answering an interview question you don’t know the answer to.

Watch the 2 minute video below for insights into how to keep your cool and tackle this daunting situation.

How do I answer an interview question if I don’t know the answer?

So, the question I’ve been given is how do you answer an interview question that you don’t know the answer to?

Now if it was a politician, you could just deflect or answer another question instead or answer a question that you actually want to answer, or just ramble on! But we’re not politicians and we don’t want to play that game!

“I would say just answer the question honestly. “

If you don’t know the answer, just say, “I’m not sure.” If you genuinely don’t have any notion how to answer at all, just be honest and tell someone.

How do I answer an interview question if it isn’t relevant to me?

“It might be that the question isn’t relevant.”

It might not be significant to you, or they might have posed it to you in such a way that it’s not connected to an experience or understanding that you have. In that case you might ask them if that question is connected to something else you are more experienced with and are comfortable talking about. I’d say something like, “It’s not something I’m aware of, is this important? How relevant is it?”

How do I approach an interview question I don’t fully understand?

“It could be that you’ve not understood the question.”

In which case you might ask them to repeat the question but if you still don’t know, I wouldn’t waffle and I wouldn’t try to invent something. If you just genuinely don’t know, just politely say, “Can we move on to the next question?”

How should I approach interview questions where I don’t feel I have a good answer?

“In all things, I think just be honest, because if you are not honest, you’ll be found out. “

The one thing I always say to people when I’m coaching them is, if you’re turning up for an interview, whether you are pitching for a project or you’re going for a job, just be you. Be honest, give credible answers, and give answers that you can work with, because if you skew the truth and the company hires you, you’ll have to live this little lie that you’ve created.

So, if they want you, they’ll hire you. If you give truthful answers and they don’t want you, then that’s a fantastic conclusion as well. So, I think you answer all questions honestly, and if you don’t know the answer, just move on. I hope that helps.

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