Dealing with questions you don’t want to answer

At the end of the day people doing interviews are human as well, this means they make mistakes too which can sometimes lead to weird situations.  This article is for you if you have ever been asked a question in a interview you felt was inappropriate and didn’t want to answer.

Questions about your sexuality, relationship status, in depth questions about your hobbies and questions of race are things no one should ever have to answer unless you feel comfortable and want to.

The most important thing to keep in mind when a inappropriate question comes up is to keep your cool. Even if it bothers you try not to show it- they may just be looking for an emotional response.

The best way to handle these questions is to address what they say, relate what they say to a skill of yours and then ask the interviewer if they would like to hear more about that skill.  Remember these 3 steps as they are key with dealing with any questions you don;t want to answer.  This is called redirecting the question.

Example

Question: How do you feel about gays and lesbians? Do you accept them?

Answer: In life I try and use all my experiences and knowledge to make good judgments on the type of people I associate with. My good judgement has helped me many times during my career, would you like to hear some situations I was able to overcome using judgement?

Notice how this answer doesn’t completely disregard the question but neither does it answer it.  Keep your cool and always steer the conversation back towards the things you are good at.

Sometimes you get asked horribly inappropriate questions and you just have to take a stand. There is a polite way to do this which will get people to back off.   The key is to stay cool, say it slowly and make sure they understand you.   As said before you don’t want to come off as emotional but you need to let them know you are not to be messed with.

Example:

Do you date Asian people? Are you gay? Do you like Russians? ect…

Answer: I don’t think that information about my personal life is appropriate or relevant to discuss here. That area of my life doesn’t affect my ability to perform at a high level and excel at this position.

Very politely F-ck off!

This technique can be used for not only inappropriate questions but questions you just don’t want to answer. If used properly this technique can help you overcome questions you aren’t prepared for.

Question:  Do you like working with children?

Answer: Working with children requires a great deal of patience and vision.  Patience and vision have helped me a lot in my career, would you like to hear an example of how these two skills have helped me?

job informationRemember the key to dealing with sensitive questions is staying cool.  If you are calm you will be able to analyze the situation and the question and then come up with the best answer.

Remember the 3 step process: address what they say, relate what they say to a skill of yours and then ask the interviewer if they would like to hear more about that skill.

Has this article helped you?  Please share this with a friend, leave your comments below!

One Response

  1. Mary sunderland

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