What to Say Instead of "I Don't Know"

Saying “I don’t know” when you don’t, in fact, know the answer to a question should be laudable. It should tell people you’re a straight shooter—not someone who fudges an answer when you’re unsure.

But, let’s be honest: In many workplace situations, it just doesn’t sound good—and can make you come across as inexperienced, unprofessional, or (especially) unprepared.


So, what should you do instead? The best course of action is to employ a phrase that avoids misleading the other person, but still makes him or her feel like you answered the question. Read on for three phrases you can use in place of “I don’t know” and the best times to use each one.


See the rest of my latest Daily Muse piece here.