Why You Should Stop Saying “That’s a Great Question” During Job Interviews

August 25, 2022

Panel of man and women interviewing job candidate

No matter how prepared you are for a job interview, nervousness always seems to creep in. These nervous feelings can cause you to talk too quickly, stumble over your words, or draw a complete blank when the interviewer asks you a question. If you find yourself blanking on a question, it’s okay to take a moment or two to gather your thoughts. Remember, companies aren’t necessarily looking for the perfect answer. Instead, they’re looking to see how effectively you communicate.

One phrase interviewers are sick of hearing is “that’s a great question.” Your thoughts when using this phrase may be to compliment the interviewer or to buy yourself a few extra seconds. However, the phrase is primarily a reflex, and it comes off disingenuous with the potential to sound rude. So, what should you say instead? Let’s break it down.

Be Honest About Needing More Time

Pausing during a job interview is okay. Most interviewers are happy to accommodate if you need a moment to ponder a thoughtful question. Instead of saying “that’s a great question” to buy more time, you could say, “that’s a thoughtful question. Do you mind if I take a quick minute to think over my answer?” Answering truthfully better illustrates for them a look at your character. It shows that you are honest, thorough, and committed to giving your best. It also showcases effective communication skills. If you find yourself truly stumped, you could even ask to revisit the question later in the interview.

Showcase Your Problem-Solving Skills

It may come as a surprise, but you don’t need to know the answer to every interview question to land your dream job. If you find yourself without a complete reply after taking a moment to think, don’t panic. Instead, take this opportunity to showcase your problem-solving skills. In most instances, the interviewer is looking to see how you would perform in the role you’re interviewing to fill. So, when you don’t know the correct answer, be honest about it. You could say, “I don’t know,” then explain how you would find the answer if you were in that specific job role. No one expects you to know everything, even after you get hired. Remember, it’s less about being perfect and more about being curious and resourceful.

YOUR Union County Chamber cares about the community and wants everyone to thrive. We are committed to promoting quality of life through economic opportunity, public and private education, and reducing regulations that drive up costs. If you’re looking for your next dream job, check out our jobs website, full of LOCAL companies.

Last modified: September 6, 2022

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