How to handle an interview you can’t handle

The days of nervous smiling and shoulder shrugging are no more!

So you’ve applied for a job in the customer service department of an organisation and during the interview they ask “Tell us what you know about Messagebird” and you look at the interviewer wondering what in the world a Messagebird is (it’s an app to help keep up with online customer support, BTW).

The five seconds you spent staring at your interviewer for answers could mark the end of possible employment with that company.

Now let’s head back to the waiting room before you step in for your interview. Take a deep breath and do the universal first step to any task: Calm down.

Studies have shown that being moderately nervous about an upcoming event can be a good thing but it’s common knowledge that being overtly nervous can work against you. A dry throat, nervous sweating, and trembling hands are the last things we want before being quizzed for a job vacancy.

Now, ready to tackle those tough questions? Here are some tips to know in case you ever get stumped in an interview.

Don’t say you don’t know
Even when you don’t know. It’s alright to concede a lack of knowledge on a certain topic but show your competency and enthusiasm for the job by redirecting the question to a topic you’re more comfortable talking about. Just don’t change the subject completely!

Ask questions
Sometimes it could be a case of misunderstanding the question rather than not knowing the answer. Ask the interviewer to clarify the question and that might give you a clearer idea of how to properly answer it.

Tell them how you would find the answer
“I haven’t come across Messagebird in my previous experiences but as someone who is tech savvy, I can easily get the hang of apps like these and master them in no time!” An answer like this showcases one of your traits that’s being good with technology and your willingness to learn!

Send a follow-up email
Here’s your chance to save the interview even after it’s done. Apart from the usual salutations and “Thanks for your time” bla bla, take this chance to address the questions you previously had no answer to. “After much research, I have gotten a better idea of how Messagebird works and would be keen to utilise it!”

What were some of the questions that got you stumped? Let us know by tweeting us @graduan!

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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