Responding to F1 Questions You Don’t Know How to Answer

The US F1 Visa Interview can be worrisome, however, nothing is impossible if you are prepared thoroughly. Practicing questions, taking mock interviews and preparing your answers in advance helps boost your confidence, taking you a step closer to your dream school. Having said that, no matter how much you prepare, there’s always a chance that you might forget the answers. In such situations, it is always a good idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve to answer questions.

We will tell you how to respond to questions you don’t know how to answer and rest assured it’s going to help you.


1) Pause and think — Always acknowledge the question and ask the interviewer to give you a minute or two to think about it. Take a few seconds to gather your thoughts so that you recall and articulate your points clearly. You could use phrases like “could I get 30 seconds to recollect the details?” or “could I get a minute to think about that?”

2) Always be honest — You may want to please the interviewer but avoid exaggeration of any sort. Be honest, you don’t want to get caught in a lie.

3) Clarify the question — In case you are unable to comprehend a question or you are confused about it, you can ask the interviewer to repeat the question. It’s always better to clarify a question than to assume something and give a wrong answer.

4) Stay Calm —  This is definitely easier said than done, however try your best to stay calm and composed. Panicking will affect your overall F1 Visa interview experience. Also, avoid fidgeting, excess blinking, stammering, etc. 


  1. Never Say, “I don’t know” — The interview is all about YOU and why YOU want to study in the United States so avoid using the phrases like “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure”. You have applied to study abroad, hence, your goals should be clear.

2) Don’t Lie — A lie can never take you a long way. More so, the person interviewing you is an experienced professional who can easily distinguish between a lie and truth, hence, be honest to yourself and the interviewer.

3) Don’t fear silence and don’t use fillers – Having few silent moments is absolutely normal in an interview but remember not to fill these silences with “ums” and “uhs”. If you take a moment and answer questions confidently, it is great. However, if you show any signs of hesitation and stammer in the process, that’s a red flag.

4) Don’t be visibly uncomfortable – Avoiding eye contact with the interviewers, fidgeting and muttering show that you are uncomfortable and not confident. It is always good to take a deep breath and think clearly to ensure this situation never arises.

F1 US Visa interviews are undoubtedly a cause of anxiety, however, nothing can be achieved if you let nervousness get in the way of your ambitions and dreams. Hence, remember the do’s and the don’ts that we have listed down for you next time you go for your F1 interview and just give it your best.

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