When you have no clue about the question, how do you answer/act when you do not know the answer at all? Telling the truth is pretty obvious. But how could you try to transform this weakness into a strength?
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"I don't know how to do that, but if I ran into that problem in a project, here's how I'd go about figuring out how to make it work..."
I will always say "I don't know." with confidence.
Here is an alternative that may play more into your favor. Like my previous idea say it with complete confidence.
I am not familiar with that yet.
We all have blind spots, so saying "I don't know" once, it's not a problem. Saying it many times probably won't get you a job, but there's nothing you can do.
Asking for clarification would be another possible route to take as sometimes questions can be restated to make it easier to answer. That is what I would do if someone were to ask me about something where I don't even understand what is the question.
"I have never worked with ????. When i a had a problem that ???? solves, i instead used (insert real example that relates to my resume here)"
Having every opportunity to prove that you are not lying about projects you worked on, can be much more powerful than knowing a detail
Whatever you say, you should have two things there- honesty and confidence.
That's all I think.
if you don't know anything about it, the best thing is to be transparent and admit that. this way you don't waste anyone's time.
but, you better know a little something about everything: and introduction or what's it about or at least the domain to what that question/technology belongs to or what's the reasoning behind the existence of that technology.
show the interviewer you know the world around you.
on the other hand, if you do know a little bit, start from there.
most interviewers will help you, and even provide and explain the answer. this is where it's important to not just play dead. ask questions and try to understand what he/she's saying. make sure you leave that interview with something new.
some people do care about your ability to understand things and about your attitude towards new stuff
1) Can you help me out here by giving some hint.
2) I don't know what that is yet, but I think this is what it is.
3) I haven't heard of that yet.
4) Will you please elaborate more?
When I really don't know the answer: "Honestly I don't know. But I'd be very interested to hear the answer."
It's a great way to bound with the interviewer since he/she is now the one under the spot. It shows that you're honest about your skills and eager to learn. Plus if the interviewer has difficulty answering his/her own question in a concise manner it may demonstrate the question isn't trivial.
I feel a really important aspect to these questions is elaborating your thought process. I know that a lot of the interview questions I've had were purposefully designed so that it would be unlikely that I know the answer immediately.
I feel that it is very mature to admit that you do not know the answer, but you should follow through with a methodology for going about trying to solve the problem, just to show your analytical skills.
Can I hop on google for a few seconds? Because when I don't know the answer to something I just go and find the answer....this