Friday, January 02, 2009

Tough Interview Questions - and how to deal with them

"Anticipate the worst, and you will always be pleasantly surprised." That's what a journalist told me 30 years ago, when I was learning how to cope with media interviews. I wasn't too sure about the advice at the time, but it turned out to be invaluable. If you prepare yourself for the toughest questions, you will never be stuck for an answer.

Here are a few tough interview questions - and how to cope with them.

1) The incomprehensible question.

Don't even try to untangle it. Simply take from it what you will, and talk about your core message. You can even ignore it completely and talk about your message. Don't ask the interviewer to explain.

2) The leading question

Don't allow the interviewer to take control, and never repeat an accusation in order to deny it. As above, state your case, clearly and concisely. However, if the assumption in the question is damaging, make it absolutely clear that you have spotted their tactic, and demonstrate why their assumption is incorrect.

3) The pause

OK, not strictly a question, but a technique. You have two options. Firstly, you can say nothing, in which case the interviewer will have to fill the space. Alternatively, you can say something like "I have nothing to add on that point. However, another interesting aspect is...."

4) The post-final question

This is the one that comes after the interview appears to be over. It shouldn't worry you, since you should never assume the interview is over until you are well away from the microphones and cameras. Stay sharp until then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please let me introduce you other 51 tought interview questions at

Tough / difficult Interview questions

I hope it is useful for community.
Thanks and best rgs