Job interviews can be notoriously stressful, even if you end up acing the interview. However, when an interview starts to go wrong. If your interview begins to go wrong, it can be a bit overwhelming, and it can be easy to panic. However, there are a few different things that you can do during stressful interviews like this to help you turn the entire meeting around.
Here are a few tips on how to handle difficult interview situations when they arise.
1. Dealing With An Unfocused Interviewer
Even if you go into a job interview, expecting to be speaking with a professional, not all interviewers take the process as seriously as you do. If an interviewer is unfocused, not paying attention to you or is even asking inappropriate questions, you may feel as though the entire process is a waste. Many times these unfocused interviewers will not reference your resume or ask the types of questions that will let your expertise shine.
When this happens, make sure that you have a resume on hand and give them a copy, saying “can I take you through some of my career highlights?” This is a great way to get the unfocused job interviewer refocused on the most important part of the interview; you.
2. Facing Wild Car Questions
There are some interviewers that will ask off-the-wall questions, where there is no right answer, such as “if you were an animal, what type of animal would you be?” These questions often leave people flustered and caught off guard, as most people do not expect to handle these questions during the interview.
This is exactly why interviewers ask these types of questions. Do not let this rattle you. Take a moment, and a breath and remember there is no wrong response, but it is an opportunity to impress your employers. The goal is to see how you react in unexpected situations, so the most important thing is to stay composed, not necessarily the answer you give.
3. When You Have Been Asked Illegal Questions
There are certain questions that are illegal to as in an interview, including questions on children, age and marital status. However, some interviewers will still ask these questions. If you find yourself rattled by this question, do not let yourself respond negatively and do not call them out for asking an illegal question.
Simply state something along the lines of “there is nothing about my personal life that will get in my way of doing this job.” If they continue to ask simply state “I would prefer not to address this question at this time.” These questions are illegal for a reason, but they shouldn’t prompt a serious confrontation.
4. When You Answer a Question Poorly
One of the most nerve-wracking things about an interview is when you open your mouth to answer a question and a bad answer comes out. Remember, an interview is a conversation, if you want to go back and elaborate on an answer, feel free to. If the interviewer has moved on, it is okay to say “If I may, I want to clarify something regarding that last question…” and take that opportunity to further elaborate on what you said.
5. Dealing With Bad Body Language
So many interviewees allow themselves to get overwhelmed in the interview process because they over read the interviewer’s body language. It can be easy to think “I must be doing horrible, he looks annoyed,” but it is important that you don’t look too far into it. Assume the best. You never know what else could be causing a person to give off certain vibes. Always keep smiling and stay calm. After all, you could be completely misreading the situation, or the interviewer could simply be trying to be intimidating.
Interviews are tricky enough on their own, but when they start to include further complications, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Keep these tips on difficult situations in mind during your next interview so you can nail your meeting, no matter how poorly it starts to go.
By Richard Lorenzen CEO of Fifth Avenue Brands.
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