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Ask Vicki: How can I be better at thinking on my feet during interviews?

In this answer on Quora, Monster career expert Vicki Salemi explains how to show an interviewer you're a quick and clever thinker.

Ask Vicki: How can I be better at thinking on my feet during interviews?

Vicki Salemi

Each week, Monster’s career expert Vicki Salemi—a former recruiter who utilizes 15-plus years of experience in recruiting and human resources to empower job seekers—answers user questions on Quora. We’ll be republishing the answers here. If you have a question for Vicki, send it to socialmedia@monster.com.

Vicki Salemi

Q. How can I be better at thinking on my feet during interviews?

A. The ability to think on your feet is a highly coveted skill for many employers. Taking an improv class can help you get better at coming up with outside-the-box ideas on the fly, but don’t focus so much on spontaneity that your answers fall short in the substance department. Try to express something that makes a positive impression and shows that you’re a great fit for your target employer, like unique internships or work experience that’s relevant to the position at hand.

Also, feel free to have an answer at the ready to deliver in a spontaneous-sounding manner. Perhaps there’s an interesting anecdote you can highlight about taking a leadership role in your current job, or something else that speaks to your credentials as a job candidate. 

If you’re still stumped, don’t worry: silence can be your friend too. Even though two seconds may feel like two hours to you, interviewers usually expect some silence—and quite honestly, not enough job seekers embrace it.

Looking for more expert insights? Join Monster today. As a member, you'll get career advice and useful tips sent directly to your inbox to help you craft your resume, ace the interview, negotiate the offer, and much more. 

Read Vicki Salemi's answer to "How can I be better at thinking on my feet during interviews?" on Quora.


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