If you Get Stumped by a Question

If you Get Stumped by a Question

You can prepare for an interview until you are blue in the face and still get stumped on a 

the question during the process. It is okay, it happens to a lot of people. Some questions 

come out of the left-field, sometimes you draw a blank, and others – you don’t know 

what to say. Here is a brief rundown of what you can do in these three situations.

A (Seemingly) Off-Topic Question – These may be thrown into the interview out of 

curiosity by the interviewer or to gauge your knowledge on a certain subject. It is not a 

reason to dismiss the question though and not pay it the care and attention you would to 

No other one. Do your best, and if you really can’t figure out the correlation between the 

question and the job you are applying to, you can ask at the end of the interview – along 

the lines, “out of curiosity….”

You Draw a Blank – Ask for a minute to compose your answer, and do some fast 

brainstorming. If you feel that the silence is becoming uncomfortable, you can ask to 

come back to the question at the end of the interview. As long as you do go back to it, 

this is an acceptable solution. Silence is okay during an interview when you are trying to 

think of an answer, do not feel obligated to fill the silence, concentrate on the answer you 

want to give.

You Don’t Know What to Say – If it is a matter that you are sure what the interviewer is 

looking for an answer, ask for clarification. Sometimes asking for an example of what 

they mean can guide you in what you should say. If you take a shot in the dark, you 

might provide what they want – but why take the chance?  

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