How to answer a question you don’t know the answer to / How to say you don’t know

Use these talking points when you don’t know the answer, can’t answer, or aren’t the best source of information.

Start Here

  • Give the reason why you can’t answer the question
  • Tell them when you will follow up with them
  • Bridge to what you can say
  • Make sure you follow up (even if you don’t have any new information)
  • Repeat the question (optional)

Talking Points

  • Let me confirm/double-check and follow up with you.
  • Let me look into it and get back to you.
  • We’re still looking into it…
  • I expect to be able to tell you more by…
  • What I can tell you is…
  • I’m not sure, but I’ll find out and let you know.
  • I’ll find out.
  • I’ll look into it and get back to you with what I find.
  • That’s a good question, and I want to get you the right information. Let me get back to you by end-of-day.
  • I don’t want to speculate…
  • I’m not the best person to answer that <Name> would be a better resource, but…  my understanding is…
  • Before I answer, can I get a bit more details/context?
  • Let me see if I can’t find some more information on that. Thanks for asking!
  • Good question. Let me get back to you.

A Big List of “I Don’t Know”s

NameName
Do I look like a professor to you?Let me Google that for you 🙄
Haven’t the foggiestHaven’t got a clue
Beats me.Don’t ask me!
Excuse my ignorance.Google it!
Heaven knows.How should I know?
Huh?I am not the best person to answer that.
I can find out for you.I can only guess.
I can tell you, but I’ll have to kill you.I can’t remember off the top of my head. I’ll get back to you on that.
I can’t remember.I cannot even begin to imagine.
I do not rightly know.I don’t have a conclusion yet, but here’s my hypothesis.
I don’t have that information here right now.I don’t know anything about…
I dunno.I have no clue/idea.
I have the same question in mind.I haven’t been able to figure that out.
I haven’t got the faintest idea.I haven’t had time to think that through yet.
I haven’t looked at that yet.I haven’t/ haven’t got a clue.
I only know rumors.I want to be sure and give you the correct information. Let me check.
I wish I knew.I’m just as confused as you are.
I’ll double-check and let you know.I’ll find out and let you know.
I’ll find out.I’ll get back to you on that one.
I’ll know as soon as I figure it out.I’m afraid I don’t know.
I’m afraid. I have no ideaI’m going to investigate that further.
I’m nervous about being wrong.I’m not 100% sure on that.
I’m not sure / unsure.I’m probably not the best person to ask for that information.
I’m too young to answer that.I’m unsure.
I’ve been wondering the same thing!I’ve not the faintest idea.
It could be one of many possibilities, I’ll look into it.It is all Greek to me.
It’s a mystery to me.It’s beyond me.
Let me check on that.Let me find out for you.
Let me look that up for you.Let’s find out the answer.
Let’s have a quick brainstorm.Let’s learn about that together.
May I ask a friend?Not as far as I know.
Only god knows.Only time will tell.
Search me.That requires a bit more research first.
That’s baffling!That’s a mystery!
That’s a really good question, I’ll check/ find out.That’s a timely question!
That’s exactly what I’m seeking to answer.That’s good question, but I don’t know.
That’s good question, I’ll check this.That’s not my area of expertise, I’ll ask …..
That’s something I want you to find out for yourself!The answer eludes me.
There are several possible answers, I’ll need more information first.We’ll find out soon enough.
What do you suggest?What do you think?
Who knows?Would you please repeat the question?

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