We've all been there. An interviewer asks you a question and you simply have no idea what to say. It may be a technical question, or something about your learning style, but you just draw a blank. We all prepare for interviews by researching the position, knowing our skills and practicing sample questions, but sometimes a question out of left field surprises you.
Something else that I've seen is not being prepared and knowing your background and being able to provide solid examples of the work that you've done. One of the questions that recruiters love to ask is tell me about your background. Or tell me about some of the highlights of some of the projects and things that you've worked on. And that's not a question where you should be sitting down reading your resume verbatim to us. We can all read, trust me, we have read them.
What this question is really doing is two things for a recruiter. It's validating your experience, but then also allowing them to validate your experience, to gauge your communication skills and dig deeper into some of those skills and things that you've worked on in the past. Sometimes it may seem redundant, but it's more important than you think. Always smile. That's always a good start. But if you don't know an answer to a question, you can always say you don't know. Be transparent and ask those questions back. You're not going to have an answer for everything. Being comfortable with that and knowing where to go back and find those answers can make that happen. When you get a questions that’s more technical-focused, but you don’t know the answer, you can say, "Look, I don't know the answers to that, but I know where to find you that answer and I'll get back to you on that." It's all about the learning experience. If you don't know something, don't be afraid to ask, or at least be resourceful and know where to get the information.
A lot of people they feel like they're on the hot seat. They're being interrogated. They have to have an answer. They've got to have the right answer. Any answer is better than not knowing and it's probably not even close to the truth. Because at the end of this interview, if things go well, you and your interviewer are going to be working together as human beings day in and day out. You've obviously had a job, you've been in an office environment, you know that people don't walk around with all the answers pouring out of their mouth at all times. It's very much a working collaborative learning environment. To get to that in the interview process and show that you're someone that they would enjoy solving problems with, that's going to bring ideas, that's willing to put in the work to go find the answers and solutions is really going to be valuable. It's less about the answer and more about how you handle that uncertainty. It's more important to demonstrate that you can be collaborative and resourceful than to just make something up and give an incorrect answer.