8 Strategic ways for handling Difficult Interview Questions

8 strategic ways for handling difficult interview questions

Table of Contents

Introduction

The interview preparation journey is like a roller coaster ride. You will have to go through several ups and downs, and it’s part and parcel of the process; it happens with everyone. 

Imagine a situation where you feel that you are well-prepared for your interview, and the interview starts smoothly.

ways for handling difficult interview questions

Suddenly, the interviewer asks you a question about a topic that you are not pretty confident enough or you have no knowledge of. 

Then, how will you be handling difficult interview questions of these sorts?

You will be surprised to know that according to statistics 33% of the hiring managers would know if they would hire the candidate in the first 90 seconds of an interview. Which means that you will have to be at your best right from the start.

In this blog, get an in-depth understanding of various ways of handling difficult interview questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the strategic ways to handle interview questions that you are unsure of, without actually saying “I don’t know”.
  • 33% of the hiring managers would know if they would hire the candidate in the first 90 seconds of an interview.
  • Importance of the hook strategy – Where, When and How to use it.

Steps you can take to handle tricky interview questions

  1. Stay Calm
calm mindset during an interview

First and foremost, stay calm. This happens to most of us.

Suppose you feel that you have spoilt your entire interview and you do not stand a chance to get selected. Then, I suppose you might be wrong.

 Your selection is not based on how many answers you get right; instead, it revolves around your overall performance. 

Keep giving yourself positive affirmations, and your race is not yet over!

  1. Take a moment and respond

At times, the pressure, expectations, and hopes attached with an interview might make you nervous or anxious. 

Due to which you might not be able to answer the question spontaneously. 

So, don’t panic; take a moment off, then think and respond. 

  1. Try clarifying the question
how to tackle tricky interview questions

There are chances that you might not have understood the question correctly, due to which confusion has arisen. 

This can mostly happen when you have a virtual interview. 

Due to technological glitches, there might be communication gaps. During these times you may wonder whether you should clarify questions during the interview?

In such a situation, I would recommend asking the interviewer to repeat the question or rephrase the question. 

They will most certainly help you with it. 

Also read: How to answer common interview questions

  1. Think through and analyze properly

You have to keep in mind that most interviewers do not expect the candidate to be able to answer all the questions correctly.

What they give a higher emphasis is on how you analyze and respond to the question. 

Therefore, when you take a moment off, think through logically.

Often, it so happens that you may be familiar with the topic but it may slip out of your mind due to panic or nervousness. 

  1. Share what you know and acknowledge it
a candidate during her interview

It may so happen that you are not entirely aware of the exact answer. But, you have a general idea of the topic. 

During such a situation, acknowledge that you are not entirely sure about the exact answer, but you know a broad overview of the domain. 

Often, many interviewers will even give you a slight hint to guide you to formulate and arrive at the correct answer. 

  1. Use the hook strategy

Wondering what is a hook strategy? A hook is something that you can use to strategically frame your answer in order to redirect the interviewer’s attention to the topics that you want to discuss in-depth with them. 

By using a hook, you can highlight your strengths and USP, which would set you apart from the other candidates.

To get an in-depth understanding of how to strategically present an answer during an interview using hooks, read: Ultimate Interview Preparation Guide: Tips, Tricks and More.

  1. Be honest

When you face a question from the interviewer that you know is coming from a topic that you have completely no knowledge about. 

Then, it would be a better idea to be honest, and inform the interviewer that you do not know the answer. It would save the interviewer’s time as well as yours. 

  1. Should I risk taking a guess?
ways to handle interview questions you are unsure of

Whether or not you should take the risk should be appropriately analyzed. It will be better if you inform the interviewer that you are making a guess. 

Because if you answer the question that you have zero ideas about just to fill in the blank space. It will negatively reflect on you if it turns out incorrect. 

Wrapping Up: 8 strategic ways for handling difficult interview questions

For acing an interview it requires a lot of hard work, patience, and extensive preparation.

Even after doing all these, there are chances that you may get stuck when the interviewer asks you tricky interview questions from topics that you are not familiar with. 

In such a situation, I would recommend you to follow the above-mentioned interview preparation tips. Apart from these tips, remember to do good research about the company you are applying for.

Because around 47% of the candidates failed their job interview because they did not have enough information about the company they are applying for!

Remember that this happens to most of us so don’t get discouraged and continue giving your best shots.

Further Reading: How to crack an internship interview for Cybersecurity? 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I prepare myself for an interview?

    Mock interviews are a great way to prepare yourself for an actual interview. As they can help you in a big way to be confident for your final interview.

    It tends to provide you the simulated interview environment feel and help you prepare for the actual round. Utilize the mock interviews to see how you perform, monitor your progress and keep improving further. 

  • What does the term “Hook Strategy” in an interview mean?

    A hook is something that you can use to strategically frame your answer in order to redirect the interviewer’s attention to the topics that you want to discuss in-depth with them. 

    By using a hook, you can highlight your strengths and USP, which would set you apart from the other candidates.

  • What if one of my responses is wrong? Will I be rejected straightaway? 

    In most cases the answer is no.  Your selection is not based on how many answers you get right; instead, it revolves around your overall performance. 

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