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3 tips to overcome brain freeze

Here’s our top tips on how to tackle that moment your brain just goes blank in an interview.

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We know that many jobseekers struggle with brain freeze during an interview. In fact, 30% of the jobseekers we recently asked about interview pressures said they are most likely to lose their train of thought.

When this happens, don’t panic – it’s ok! A big part of why we get brain freeze is because we want to have an answer.

By cutting ourselves some slack and being ok with not having every answer, we will be more relaxed and more likely to break out of the spiral of brain freeze.

Here’s our top three tips on how to tackle that moment your brain just goes blank in an interview:

1. Ask, “can you repeat the question again”?

You quickly realize that your mind is now in a brain freeze situation, and you instantly think that you can’t come up with an answer right now. First thing to do is take a breath and try to relax your body.

This in turn will relax your thoughts. You must break yourself out of the brain freeze mode. To do this, it’s perfectly ok to ask “can you repeat the question again?” and buy yourself a little time to think.

Alternatively, you can say “Let me just think about that for a moment,” take a sip of water and then move on.

2. Move away from a scripted answer

Although we naturally want to plan out exactly what we want to say, sometimes having a scripted answer can be a stumbling block when you get brain freeze. You end up hung up on what word comes next in your script and will find it hard to break the cycle.

Instead, have your answer structured in short bullet points that you would then talk around. This means you are more flexible with the answer you give and are less likely to get stuck on what the next sentence was supposed to be, and can focus on a point you want to talk more about.

This has a twofold benefit of helping avoid brain freeze and also helping you sound more natural and confident to the interviewer.

This then leads us on to our final crucial tip…

3. Practice, practice, practice

It might be hard to know what question will cause you brain freeze ahead of it happening in a real life situation. Though if you haven’t done any practice, ordinary questions can also cause brain freeze.

So, first make sure you get enough practice interview questions done so ordinary questions will no longer trip you up.

Ask a friend or acquaintance to help. Work with someone who can observe and critique you.

If you can’t find someone to fit the bill, the next best thing to do is to find another person who is in similar situation as you are, and you can both challenge each other.

If you practice, keep calm, and carry on, then you have a better chance of conquering your brain freeze!

Did this help you? Tell us in the comments!

Do you struggle with interview anxiety? Check out our tips on how to overcome this here.

Looking for some more interview advice? We helped some of our jobseekers tackle common interview pressures with #TheElevatorPitch. Find out more and learn with them here.

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