AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
June 18, 2018

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

FOLLOW US

Think Fast: Answering unexpected questions quickly while interviewing.

AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
June 18, 2018

CATEGORIES:
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
2 minutes

For managers, interviewing is for learning about the applicant and their credentials within a short period of time. Will this person be a good fit? Would they enjoy this job role? How would their skills help better my team? Applicants need to answer any question the employer asks, even if it may seem unconventional. Each question the interviewer asks serves a purpose in getting to know the applicant better.

While interviewing, if you’re asked a question you didn’t prepare for, here are a few ways to help think fast while on the spot:

  1. Repeat the question while you think. This shows you are listening, and also gives you additional time to think.
  2. Clarify. Ask questions to make sure you completely understand what the interviewer is looking for. This will help ensure you answer the question correctly and buy you a little time.
  3. Lead up to the final answer. This method is very strategic. If the question is demanding you compare yourself to someone/something (for example, if you were a type of tree, what tree would you be and why?) start speaking about your qualifications and lead up to the final answer. For this example, talk about having a strong background in your field paired with being hungry for growth within the company. This could lead you to say something along the lines of “Redwood” or “Oak.”
  4. Tailor stories to the question. When given a tough or unexpected question, more likely than not, the interviewer is looking for a unique answer about your personality/characteristics. Resort back to your elevator speech or short highlights from your personal stories, but make sure you personalize them to what is being asked. Use these as your “secret weapons” for answering unexpected questions about yourself.

If you’re applying for a position at Reynolds and Reynolds, recruiters can help you prepare for your interview. They can let you know common questions to practice, and what to bring for the big day. You probably won’t know everything you’ll be asked, but using the tips above will help you nail any question handed to you during the interview.


Share this Article

Reynolds Careers

Guest posts from around the company.