Going into a job interview, it's understandable to be nervous.
You do your best to prep real answers to imaginary questions. But chances are good you'll not only be asked a question you didn't anticipate, but also one that leaves you stumped.
If you find yourself stuck for an answer, resist all urges to reply: "I don't know."
Monster's Catherine Conlan offers up a better response: "That's a good question."
"It can give you a few moments to come up with an answer and, in the meantime, strokes the interviewer's ego a little bit too," she notes.
In addition to the right answer to a tough question, Conlan has several other must-dos for your next interview:
Ask good questions
Smart, thoughtful queries show you're intelligent and well-prepared. Some of Conlan's suggestions:
- What are the biggest short- and long-term issues I would need to focus on in this position?
- What would I need to focus on differently than the previous person in this position?
- What organizational issues should I be aware of?
The company’s own words
Peruse the organization’s Web site, brochures or any related material.
"Pay attention to the words used - what’s important to the organization?" Conlan advises.
See if you can seamlessly and subtly use any of their keywords or phrases in your answers – without being too obvious.
The use of important words or phrases can subconsciously hit home with your interviewer, furthering the fact that you’re already in sync with the organization.