Ace Your Interview: Listen to the Entire Question before Answering

By January 28, 2022 Blog No Comments

We get it. Nerves take over. The excitement gets to you. You don’t mean to be rude, but you’re so amped up you can’t even listen to the entire question before starting your answer. 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. You enter your job interview planning to present the most tranquil, professional demeanor possible. Then the adrenaline hits, and you can’t even wait for the interviewer to get to the question mark. Before you can stop yourself, you’re cutting them off and launching into your response. 

Employers love the enthusiasm. However, this level of energy becomes self-defeating. It’s a bad habit you need to fix. It’s crucial to listen to your interviewer’s entire question before answering if you want to land the job.  

The Downside of Guessing 

Why not try to anticipate a question? Can’t you show just how in sync you are with the interviewer? Beyond that, doesn’t it give you a chance to show off your ability to process information quickly? 

Maybe the occasional interviewer will be impressed — but that is unlikely. More often, you’ll interrupt their flow, guess wrong about where the question is leading, or even potentially signal bad manners on your part.  

Here are some of the potential downsides to beginning your answer before an interviewer finishes the question: 

You’ll Seem Rude 

Interviews don’t just showcase your skills and natural talent. They also let you highlight your personality. Don’t fail that test. Interrupting your interviewer can be perceived as rude. Avoid this trap by waiting for the appropriate time to respond. 

You’ll Misunderstand the Question 

Starting an answer too early raises the chances that you’ll misunderstand the question. In the best-case scenario, this just wastes time. However, in some cases, your incorrect interpretation could also short-circuit the entire interview. 

You’ll Show How Nervous You Are 

You want to stay calm and collected in the interview. No fidgeting or flop-sweats. But uncontrolled chatter could tip off how nervous you are. Stay patient and underline your control of the situation. 

How to Make Sure You Understand an Interview Question 

Sometimes, waiting for the full question isn’t enough. Even after patiently listening while the interviewer completes their query, you still have no idea what they want you to say. What do you do then? Here are a few tips that will let you get the most out of your interview opportunity: 

Stay Calm 

Often, the desire to jump into an answer comes as a result of nervousness. You feel the adrenaline pumping and want to barrel into the action. Develop techniques to maintain your composure and wait for your turn to talk. 

Don’t Guess or Make Things Up 

If you don’t quite understand the type of answer an interviewer wants, don’t take a wild guess. You’ll end up delivering a rambling answer that won’t help your case. Instead, listen to the whole question and think about what type of response your interviewer is trying to elicit. 

Don’t Respond with “I Don’t Know.” 

True, you don’t want to guess at an answer. But the opposite response is just as bad. Don’t sputter out an “I don’t know” and hope to move on. Interview questions don’t come with a “pass” option.  

Ask a Follow Up 

Don’t panic if you don’t understand a question. You can still deliver a winning response. Just ask a follow-up question to clarify the meaning. This will give you additional information, as well as buy you some time to formulate a response. 

Contact Recruiting In Motion today to improve your job search. 

It will become easier to stay calm and wait for questions when you’re confident in your ability to land the job. A top staffing agency, like Recruiting In Motion, will put you in those positions. Find the positions that suit your skills and background.