Interviews tend to be nerve wrecking for some individuals, in general. When you add to that unexpected events, questions and occurrences, and the process could become too much to handle. To help fight such things from happening, it is important to be prepared. Below are a few common sticky job interview situations and some ideas on how to handle them like the professional that you are.
Outside the Interview
There are some situations that you may face before you even enter the area where the interview will be conducted. Some common possibilities include arriving at your interview to discover the individual you are meant to interview with is not there and no one else knew that you were coming, or you arrive at the interview and discover that the job you are interviewing for is not exactly the job that you were expecting. Do not allow yourself to become flustered by such instances. To properly handle either situation, you want to stay calm and think rationally. It is also critical that you be flexible.
In the first instance, you might need to wait patiently for someone from the office to get in touch with the individual you were meant to meet with, you may be asked to come back or you might interview with someone else; you will want to be open to each possibility. You might even consider being proactive and suggesting one of the courses of action if the individuals in the office seem to be having difficulty figuring out what to do. In the second situation, it is not necessary to make your new revelation known, but do make sure that you get clarity on the position. If you realize that it is a job that you are not interested in, you can be honest and opt to leave; however, if you are still interested in the position, be mindful of any changes in the job duties and tailor your interview answers to the new position. Being able to adapt to new situations not only looks good in the interview, but can also serve you well once hired.
Inside the Interview
Once you are in your actual interview you may face some additional sticky situations. During the interview you may be asked to complete a task or provide some free services. The interviewer may also try to probe and seem to desire that you provide dirt on your previous or current employer. In such cases, it is important that you use discretion and that you only provide what you feel comfortable sharing. Do not allow fear of not being hired lead you to making a decision that you are not completely comfortable with, because there is no guarantee that your compliance will secure you the job.
Answering Common Questions
There is no way to guess the exact line of questioning for every interview, but there are certain questions that you can expect to be asked. Even so, some individuals may still struggle with these sticky questions:
- Tell me about yourself
- What would you say is your greatest weakness?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why are you leaving your current position?
In answering these questions you want to be sure to keep your answers direct, spin any negatives into positives, be honest and utilize any opportunities possible to showcase your relevant skills, experience and knowledge. If you do have any negatives or failures to share, do not dwell on the negative aspects, but rather focus on how you have learned and grown from the situation. In the end, you want to leave the interviewer with the impression that yes, you are human, but you are also mature, logical, a hard worker and a great match for the position.
Along with the aforementioned questions you may be asked informational interview questions or others that seem completely random. Know that this is intentional and is meant to get a feel for who you are, genuinely. The best course of action is to be honest, give thoughtful answers and do not contradict yourself.
Preparation can help to prevent some interesting occurrences during an interview, however, when you find yourself in a unique, sticky job interview situation, employ the above mentioned tactics. Stay calm, be rational and give to your level of comfort. In doing so, you will handle the situation like a pro.