No matter how well you have prepared for your interview, chances are you would be confronted with questions you don’t know how to answer. In this case, don’t get nervous. You have to accept that you are not invincible. And sometimes it might just be a trick your interviewers use to test how you respond to difficult and tough questions on the spot. They want to observe your behaviour under embarrassing and difficult situations.

Use the Seek-And-Reply technique. It allows you to

  • Understand more clearly the interviewers’ question.
  • Gain rapport with your interviewers and engage them in your presentation
  • Take control of your answer presentation to achieve your desired performance

How to use the Seek-And-Reply technique?

Whenever you encounter a question that you don’t know how to answer, follow the procedures:

Think of the best PRELIMINARY answer to the question.

Break down your PRELIMINARY answer into 2 to 3 points.

Begin your answer by using diplomatic language like a politician. For example, “I DO NOT HAVE THE COMPLETE PICTURE BUT I DO THINK…..”, “AS FAR AS I CAN FIGURE IT OUT”, “TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE”, “IF I DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOU FULLY, I HOPE I CAN ANSWER IT IN THIS WAY……”

Here is a demonstration:

I do not have the “COMPLETE PICTURE”, so “to the best of my UNDERSTANDING AND COMPREHENSION”, I would like to express my opinion herein as……………………………………

Then you can go on to explain the first point of your PRELIMINARY answer. Make a short pause after point one and ask the interviewers:

“CAN YOU FOLLOW WHAT I AM SAYING?”

“AM I IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?”

“DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS SO FAR?”

You are now passing the “turn” to the interviewers. They are “guided” by you to provide further information and the “answers” in their mind.

Your strategy is to dig out what is in their mind when they are asking the difficult question.

So give your fair “share” of the answer and ask them for their “share” as well.

Repeat the above procedures for point 2 and 3 of your preliminary answer.

Of course, you can quickly adapt your answers to the information they contribute under your guidance. Now you know how to answer difficult questions by using Seek-And-Reply technique.

Seek their minds before your Reply to their questions.

Use this technique to take control of a job interview.

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