I work in a very technical field, and though I’m educated there are times that I do not know how to perform some aspect of the job that I am asked about during the interview? How am I supposed to answer these questions?
We spend a lot of time teaching you how to lie and stretch the truth during job interviews. However, when it comes to answering questions about your abilities, there are not a lot of options. You never know when that knowledge is going to play a large role in your job, and if you answer that you know how to do something that you do not know how to do, you risk getting immediately labeled a liar and possibly laid off.
It is tough to say, but it is best if you answer this question quickly and honestly. Lying is not effective, since it is worse to get a job and get laid off then to not get a job at all. However, you also do not want to make excuses. Excuses make you seem incompetent. Apologizing makes you appear weak.
“No, I don’t think so, sorry. Is that a big deal? I have had some experience with X, but I am not sure if it is related. It might be, but I’d have to check it out and see for sure.”
This answer makes you seem somewhat sad. Like you are panicking because you have not had an experience in the past. Don’t apologize or try to come up with ways to convince them otherwise. Your best bet is one of the following answers:
- “I have not yet had experience with that product.”
- “I have not used that product, but I have used product X which is similar.”
- “I would love train in that area. That is a product I have always wanted to learn.”
It is not your fault you have not used the product or performed the action before. If you apologize or try to come up with excuses, it makes it sound like it is your fault. A quick answer about how you do not know is all you need. If they do not hire you because you are not familiar with that product, that is there decision.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Be honest when you will not be able to perform some aspect of your job.
- Do not apologize or make excuses. You do not know, that’s okay. But you are willing to learn.