Career Preparation & Admission

Learn From Experience When An Interview Goes Off The Rails

The interview is something that a candidate cannot control most of the time. You have to present yourself in the best light possible and hope that the interviewer is impressed enough to select you.

The fact is that there is no magic formula. Your best bet is to prepare for the interview well, put your best foot forward, and perform well. The prime requirement is to prepare well for the interview. Get a good night’s sleep, wake up refreshed and leave for the venue early enough. Do not allow yourself to become nervous and maintain a cool, calm, composure.

It is possible that you may find an instant connect with the interviewer and everything goes well. But you may also face an interviewer who seems to be bored and uninterested after a few minutes. How do you rescue the situation?

Recognize the Signs During Interview

There is no magic pill as such and you will have to play by the ear to rescue the situation as well as you can. But first you need to be able to recognize some signs that the interview is not going well.

One such sign is when the interviewer does not react the way you expect them to. The story you told them of your success in the past does not evoke the same interest, nods of approval or a smile from the interviewer. It means that you have failed to connect with the interviewer from the very beginning.

Another sign could be that the interviewer seems to be bored or distracted. The interviewer could be looking at the mobile phone or the computer screen. It is possible some urgent matter may have come up, but also it could be because the interviewer has already decided against you.

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Turn the Tide

There is little that you can do under such circumstances. However, you could try to lighten the atmosphere or change the course of the interview by introducing a humorous anecdote or better still, ask some leading questions that would allow you to display your expertise or experience in a particular field.

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The questions could be something innocuous like what sort of tasks or responsibilities have to be undertake on a typical day or the main challenges in the job. The responses would provide opportunities for you to share relevant information to highlight that you are a good fit for the job.

Yet another sign of the interview going downhill is when the interviewer do not tell you about the next steps or ask if you have any questions.

Learn from the Experience

But even if you fail to land the job, there is no need to despair.  You should do a comprehensive post interview review about whether the preparations were adequate.

As a post interview exercise, you should consider from hello to goodbye, your performance and interviewer(s) reactions. Did you fail to prepare properly? Did you practice well enough beforehand that you were able to contain your nerves? Were you prepared with the right kind of answers to the questions you were asked? Also review if your responses to the questions were correct with no rambling, that you did not give off negative feelings or share too much information. In fact, anything that would have worked against you.These could be like confessing the reason for getting fired from the previous job or about personal crisis.

Thus, the best way is to learn from the experience and move on. There is not much to be gained from blaming the interviewer or the circumstances. (Image Source: Flickr)

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