The job interview process is often a grueling one. It gets more difficult the further into the process you get. As a candidate you prepare for your interview. You research the company; you prepare your answers for “typical” interview questions, and then the unimaginable happens you get stumped. The goal is always to answer every question perfectly and without pause. Unfortunately, it does not always work out that way.

When you are working with a recruiter at an independent staffing agency, they often prepare their candidates as best they can. However, the best recruiter will not know verbatim what the interviewer will ask.

Emily CO of PopSugar Smart Living recently talked about this very subject and offered some insights if you are ever stumped during an interview:

  1. Calm Down - Once you’re stressing out on the inside, it will be hard for you to think clearly. If you are not thinking clearly, you will not be able to give the best answer. Take some deep breaths and know that it is OK, and try to find the answer within yourself.
  2. Don’t Say “I don’t Know” Right off the Bat or Make Anything Up - Before saying anything, think it over. Be careful when you do go to answer the question that you are not making anything up, the interviewer will likely be able to see through it.
  3. Ask Questions - Could it be that you didn't understand the question? Ask the interviewer to clarify before you try to answer. The more details you get, the better you will be able to figure out the answer.
  4. Tell your Interviewer what you do know - If you know something about the subject, then take the time to tell the interviewer what you do know. Sometimes saying things out loud can help the process of figuring out the problem.
  5. Tell them how you would find the Answer - The reason why interviewers ask hard questions isn't only because they want to see how you react under pressure. They also to want to see your process in solving the problem. When you are trying to find the solution, you can admit not knowing certain parts. This will make you can come off as being honest and the interviewer will know you are not making things up. As an example, if the interviewer wants you to solve a math equation and you are unsure of how to solve it, you could say something like, “I can’t do the calculations off the top of my head but I think if I can use a calculator, I will be able to find the right answer.”
  6. Know the right time to come clean - In the beginning it was stated not to tell the interviewer right away that you do not know the answer to the question. However, if the answer is something that you would only know through memorization like a definition to a word, you are best to speak up. Instead of just saying that you don’t know, try this answer, “That is a good question. I don’t have the answer off the top of my head, but I will make sure to follow up with the answer after the interview.”
  7. Send a follow-up email - This right here is the best time for a second chance. Sometimes when you are at an interview, you are under pressure and you get stumped, but as soon as you leave, you have the answer. You have to be sure you are only bringing up the mistake they saw, and not a mistake they didn't notice. Try writing this, “After some time and thought I was able to come up with a solution that would work with the problem we discussed during the interview.”

Brine Group, located on the outskirts of Boston, is a professional recruiting firm specializing in the search and placement of Healthcare, Information Technology, Computer Software and Accounting and Finance candidates in permanent employment positions. Visit often to catch up on our Recruiter Spotlights and articles of interest relating to the employment/job search markets.

To read more...Check out the article by PopSugar What You Should Do If You're Stumped During an Interview