Can You Answer a Question With a Question?

can you answer a question with a question

Interview preparation can be tricky, especially if you don’t have much experience–but the goal should be to try to make a good first impression on your interviewer by being honest.

One piece of advice that’s often given is to avoid answering questions with questions since it can be viewed as you trying to avoid answering what the interviewer is asking. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. 

Timing Is Everything

Remember that there are a few tactics you can use to make yourself stand out from other candidates, even if you are going to answer interview questions with no experience. In this situation, answering a question with a question is totally acceptable. In fact, it can be seen as an indication of your thoughtfulness and intelligence. 

Questions allow interviewers to gain insights into how you approach an issue. They demonstrate that you’re actively engaged in the conversation. Answering questions with questions not only reveals how you think, but it also shows employers that you care about the interview.

However, doing this is only recommended if you have something relevant to add. While asking questions can show interviewers that you’re engaged, blindly asking anything in order to fill the conversation will give off the impression that you’re unprepared.

On the other hand, if you plan questions beforehand and relate them to the topic of discussion, you’ll appear attentive and committed. Doing so will get your conversation skills one step ahead of the rest. Otherwise, answering a question with a question and failing to follow it up with another statement will seem as if you were dismissing the interviewer’s authority.

Of course, you should always pause and think before answering any questions–interviewers will recognize the use of silence as you taking the time to carefully consider how you want to respond. Furthermore, this will demonstrate your critical thinking skills. 

Interviews Are Like Conversations

Interviews are a great way to get to know someone. Having thoughtful questions ready before the interview is vital–it shows potential employers that you are willing to listen to what they have to say, which sets a positive tone for any kind of conversation. 

However, make sure that you think about interesting questions, such as, “What would success look like in this role?” or, “How would you describe your ideal candidate?” or, “What are the opportunities for progression within the company?” These types of questions allow the interviewer to give meaningful responses that can be useful for you as a candidate, too. 

Wrapping Up

In an interview, answering a question with a question is a great idea as long as you have something to add. Before speaking, take some time to plan your response. In order to do so, you’ll find in the use of silence a great tool for impressing your interviewer. 

Also, if you are wondering how you adapt to change, engaging in meaningful conversations is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and grow professionally and personally. Asking meaningful questions can help you show off your intelligence and thoughtfulness, giving you an edge over other candidates.

Think of interviews as a chance to test your conversation and social skills–at the end of the day, interviews are all about being authentic and presenting your best self.

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