Friday, May 14, 2010

I don't know.

I don’t know, are the three words that I would like to hear from interviewees, when then don’t have an answer to an interview question. It's much better than rambling on with answers that absolutely make no sense. Really.

Beware! Show some discretion (Read: common sense) in using them for questions for which you really don’t have an answer. Those questions don’t include, “Why are you looking for a change?”, “Why do you want to work here?” or something along the same lines.

Fear of getting rejected at interviews or even getting judged, puts undue pressure on some candidates to come up with answers that absolutely make no sense. While on the contrary, the very reason to reject that person would have been the answers. A good interviewer isn’t expecting you to know answers to every question. They only try and check your approach towards a solution for a certain problem (or question). The way you approach a problem will tell a lot more than the actual solution itself.

Now that you have told, “I don’t know”, what’s next? There is a couple of ways that might help you gain the interviewer’s confidence.

First, ask for the answer. In my experience, I’ve noticed that candidates tend to go on the back-foot or get defensive or go into a shell, when they don’t know an answer. It’s that awkward minute between an unanswered question to the next question that you should grab with both hands. Ask for the answer. Yes, it’s that simple. You could say, “I don’t know, but I’d like to know the answer to the question. It will help me understand the topic.” You’ll be surprised that a trained interviewer actually looks for such traits in candidates.
`
Second, don’t use the clich├ęd, “I don’t know the answer, but I’m a quick learner.” It means zilch to a person trying to determine your approach. In case you are uncomfortable asking for the answer during the interview, it’s ok. Make a note of that question. Get back home. Dig for answers, either through books, blogs, online, whatever it takes to get the answer. Mail it to the interviewer with mention of the sources you used to get to the answer. This is an approach that very few candidates take and it could help you stand out in a crowd. Your efforts will definitely be recognized by good interviewers.

Saying “I don’t know” is one of the easiest answers for a question that one doesn’t know the answer to. It’s what you do about the don’t-know-part that counts.

Good luck!

3 comments:

dhivya said...

Hey,

Just wanted to let you know about an exciting event siliconindia is organizing on May 29 & 30, 2010 in Bangalore.

Limited seats. Register FREE: http://www.siliconindia.com/startupcity2010

Roll up your Sleeves. Meet over 100 cool startups. Learn new Technologies; Watch live product demonstrations; Get a peek into cutting edge technologies; Lay hands on the best-of-breed solutions; Meet young, energetic, passionate geeks; Experience the culture of innovation in small companies; Listen to Visionary Keynotes and In-depth Panel Discussions

Come. Meet the Startups that will become tomorrow's industry leaders.

Here's you chance to meet and hear inspiring entrepreneurial story from Krishnakumar Natarajan, co-founder, CEO & MD of Mindtree and Bharat Goenka, Co-Founder & MD of Tally Solutions

Heads of Dell India, Sage India, Mphasis will talk about building next generation technology companies from India.

Founders of startup companies like SMSCountry, 123 Greetings.com, Manthan Systems, Ittiam, Jade Magnet will talk about concept to success and idea to revenue.

You also get to hear interesting discussions on Mistakes entrepreneurs make when approaching VCs and Best Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in 2010, Angel Money and many others from leading venture capitalists like IDG Ventures, Intel Capital, Helion, Clearstone, NEA-IndoUS Ventures.

This is undoubtedly the biggest event for startups.

There are limited seats. You can register yourself for FREE at: http://www.siliconindia.com/startupcity_09/index.html

qqq said...

It's a minefield for the first time user to try and find the right balance between price and quality for their BRONCO backup needs.Quite often it can be something as simple as a writer preferring BRONCO DVD-R over BRONCO DVD COLLECTION+R or just liking a particular brand of media better than others. Sometimes due to batch variance some!

qqq said...

The Breitling Watch
features the exact appearance of the real thing but is lack of the built-in microtransmitter. So you don't need to worry that you'll trigger an Emergency helicopter service that would spoil your vacation. And Breitling Aeromarine
are much cheaper than the authentic counterparts. If you want to familiarize yourself with such a special watch, Breitling Windrider
are your ideal choice. Both TAG Heuer and Bentley Motors
are well known luxury watch brands that have been around for over 100 years. Known especially for producing high precision sports watches and chronographs, these brands are constantly inventing and releasing new mechanisms and models that continue to please their fans and raise the bar of watchmaking.

Internet