How do you avoid answering a hard question?

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Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

In today’s media climate of coronavirus panic, stock market concern and presidential speculation, surprising and hard-hitting interview questions can come at any time – and about any topic.

PR Daily recently addressed how to respond to a question you can’t answer when giving a presentation to an audience. This got me thinking about a recent media training we had with a client where we addressed similar themes when it comes to an interview.

When you’re in an interview and find yourself in the hot seat, it’s important to stay calm and collected when you’re thrown a curveball. After all, the whole point of shocking questions may be to get a specific reaction out of you.

Here are the best ways to get yourself out of answering a tough question:

Pivot – This helps you redirect the conversation. Much like the iconic scene from “Friends,” you’re trying to turn the dialogue at a 90 degree angle to take it down a path that you’re better able to comment on.

Bridge – Used alongside a pivot, bridging helps you bring the focus back to your desired message. Instead of talking about the concerns of an unrelated scandal, you’re back to talking about your organization.

Prepare –Although it’s impossible to anticipate every difficult question, staying informed on trending headlines and industry news will help you expect what might be asked so you can prepare a response with your team.

What’s your favorite strategy for getting out of a tricky question? If you’re looking for guidance, we’re happy to help.

Annelise Krafft
Annelise Krafft
Annelise is a Phoenix native who has spent her whole life around the media. When she’s not writing, you can find her tracking the latest celebrity gossip. Check out Annelise's complete bio here.

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