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What to say when you don’t have an interview answer

When faced with a panel of scary people when chasing after a teaching job, it can be quite intimidating. Where usually you could answer any question about your life and experience, it is perfectly normal to be struck dumb, not able to answer the question posed, and you just draw a blank. So what can you do to counter such moments at critical times?

Here are three pointers that can guide you through such nightmare situations.

You response should follow:

  • Acknowledge you can’t answer their specific question. You want to make it clear that you know your answer isn’t exactly what they’re looking for, otherwise you could risk coming across as difficult to communicate with or having poor listening skills.
  • Lay out a related skill or experience. In one to two sentences describe what you can talk about and how it is similar to what they asked about. You want to make the connection for them so they see you’re qualified.
  • Ask if they’d like to hear about the skill or experience you do have to share. If they decide the example you mentioned doesn’t get at what they want to know, you don’t want to waste time talking about it. Be prepared for them to say no.

You can pick up more tips, like the ones above, by listening to the Career Tools podcast. Click here.

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