Spontaneous Interview Questions

How do you handle spontaneous interview questions?

The next edition of Beyond English Fluency is here.

If you are new, Beyond English Fluency dives into topics and shares strategies around communication that go beyond language.

Every other Wednesday (twice per month), I share a theme related to communication that goes in-depth about one theme, strategy or idea. Whether you are a non-native English speaking professional or consider yourself a native looking to excel in your communication- you’ll find a strategy that you can apply to your own situation.

When it comes to job interviews, one of the most important skills you can have is the ability to articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively.

Following a framework

One way to do this is by using frameworks in your spoken communication.

A framework is simply a structured way of organising information. Following a framework is especially helpful when you are communicating in a foreign language because many times English learners will tell me that the words don’t always come to them with ease.

During an interview, the interviewer is looking for specific qualities in the candidate’s response to their questions. Above all, they want to see that the candidate has a clear understanding of the question being asked and can provide a direct and concise answer.

I was surprised to learn this week that many Designers in the Fluent Club are not aware of frameworks to help you in answering interview questions. Speaking to other professionals and English speakers, they are not alone.

Although designers and tech professionals are often recognised for their logical and self-aware approach, they may not commonly utilise frameworks when answering interview questions.

By using a framework, you can make your answers more organised, concise, and easy to follow. This can help you communicate your ideas more effectively and make a stronger impression on your interviewer.

The STAR Method

One of the most common frameworks to use when answering interview questions is STAR

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Star: Sitution, Task, Action, Result.

The STAR method is a popular framework used to answer behavioural interview questions.

So anytime you are asked ‘Tell me about a time when…’ or ‘Describe a situation where…’, or ‘Can you give me an example of…’ you can consider using this framework.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Here’s how it works:

Situation: Describe the situation or problem you were faced with.

Task: Explain the task or goal you were trying to achieve.

Action: Detail the specific actions you took to address the situation or task.

Result: Describe the outcome or result of your actions.

Using the STAR method can help you provide concrete examples of your skills and experience, and demonstrate your ability to handle difficult situations.

While using frameworks can be helpful, it’s important not to get too caught up in them.

Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Don’t be too rigid: While frameworks can provide structure, you don’t want to come across as robotic or scripted. Make sure you’re still able to speak naturally and engage in a conversation with your interviewer.
  • Tailor your answers: While frameworks can be useful, they’re not one-size-fits-all. Make sure you’re tailoring your answers to the specific question and the company you’re interviewing with.
  • Practice, but don’t memorise: While it’s a good idea to practice using frameworks, you don’t want to come across as rehearsed. Make sure you’re still able to be spontaneous and adapt to the conversation.


By organising your thoughts and ideas in a structured way, you can communicate your skills and experience more effectively and make a stronger impression on your interviewer.

Interviewers also expect the candidate to demonstrate their critical thinking skills by providing examples and supporting their answers with relevant details and by following STAR you will be able to do so.

However, it’s important to use frameworks carefully and not get caught up in having to share your answer in a particular way.

How do you feel about using a framework to help you answer interview questions? Please share your experience below.

Feel free to reach out and send me a DM if you have any questions or an upcoming interview.


If you would like more support with communicating your ideas and you’d like to build your confidence in speaking as a non-native English speaker, you’ll love The Fluent Club Community.

Click here to read more about it and get your name on the list to hear as soon as it’s next open and be part of our incredible community of like-minded Design and Tech professionals.

Want more resources and guidance on communication confidence and interview skills?

Check out the following resources:

A free Comprehensive Guide to Answering: How Do You Handle Challenging Situations

Highlighting Your Strengths for a Confident Job Interview podcast episode

7 must do's for confident English communication

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