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by Vault Careers | March 10, 2021

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You’ve tailored your cover letter and resume and now you’ve landed that interview. Great! Now it’s time to prep. While you may be prepared to answer questions about your resume and past experiences, there are often questions that you would rather not answer. One question that makes many job hunters uncomfortable is the dreaded “What’s your [fill in standardized test here] score?” No matter the poison, LSAT, GMAT, SAT, etc., feeling like you’re being judged based on a number can certainly be enough to kill an interview.

If you crushed the standardized test, a confident response of 180, 800, or 2400 is easy. If you aren’t as proud of your score, there are two strategies to take. One is to say it and move on: State your score with confidence and without explanation and ask a follow-up question about something else. You’ve answered the question calmly showing that you have grace under pressure, now the interview can continue without an awkward pause and without dwelling on your score.

A second strategy is to show off: Again state your score without hesitation, but follow your statement with other examples of your achievements or skills that will benefit your potential new employer. Having a question ready to ask the interviewer is a good way to move the conversation away from a topic that makes you uncomfortable.

It is best not to make excuses or begin discussing the faults you see with standardized tests, this only prolongs the conversation about your score and could highlight it in the interviewer’s memory. Also, stating that you don’t remember your score seems disingenuous. And certainly don’t talk about how terrible you think your score is. You are competing with others for this job, stay positive and highlight your best skills and attributes.

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