Job interviewing can be an unnerving experience, but if you know how to handle some of the stickiest situations encountered in interviewing, you can be that much more confident. Here are some of the stickiest.
The Bad Interviewer. Not every professional who conducts job interviews with candidates knows how to conduct an interview effectively. In fact some are downright lousy at it. A bad interviewer might be unfocused, disinterested, unprepared. He or she might dominate the interview by doing all the talking or might ask inappropriate and illegal questions.
The unfocused, unprepared interviewer probably hasn’t read your resume and maybe can’t even find a copy. This hapless soul doesn’t even know what to ask you. Be sure to offer this disorganized interviewer a copy of your resume while asking, “May I take you through some highlights of my career?”
While the bigmouth interviewer is holding forth, make as many mental notes as you can (or jot them down if you’ve brought a small notepad). Don’t show your exasperation; instead be an attentive listener and hang on the interviewer’s every word. Try to get a word in edgewise by leaning forward and opening your mouth slightly, advises Anne Kadet on Smartmoney.com. If that doesn’t work, even a nonstop talker will likely eventually ask if you have any questions. At that point, you can ask questions or describe your fit with the company and the position based on the mental notes you’ve been making.
The surly, grumpy interviewer may be having a bad day or may be testing you by being unpleasant. Don’t let the interviewer’s demeanor cast a pall on your interview. Keep smiling and respond to questions with as much verve as you would with a cheerful interviewer.
Drawing a total blank: What is you simply cannot come up with a response to a question? Take a moments to think. If dead air just hangs there as the seconds tick away, ask the interviewer for a minute to think. If you are truly stuck, ask if you can come back to that question. Such a request is a risky strategy that may eliminate you, but it’s better than not answering at all.
Giving a weak response: Acknowledge your flub and start again, saying, “Here’s what I really meant.”
Sweating profusely: Discreetly get out a handkerchief or tissue and dab the sweat. Similarly, if your hands tend to sweat, be sure to wipe them dry before shaking the interviewer’s hand.