"In spite of putting all your best efforts into preparation, the high pressure environment of interviews can result in things going a bit pear shaped. Forgetting the interviewers name, forgetting your own name, spilling drinks, sweating and mind blanks can all result from the big I."
In spite of putting all your best efforts into preparation, the high pressure environment of interviews can result in things going a bit pear shaped.Forgetting the interviewers name, forgetting your own name, spilling drinks, sweating and mind blanks can all result from the big I. Here are a few tips on how to breeze past those unfortunate speed bumps.
One of the most common awkward interview moments is the long pregnant pause incurred by a mind blank. The best thing to do in this situation is not to blurt out any old answer to ease what you feel to be the excruciating pain of the silence, but to take a deep breath and say 'Let me think about that for a minute'.This will relieve the silence without hurtling yourself into an answer that you are not entirely convinced of.
Do not be embarrassed if you do not understand a question. The best way to get around this is to rephrase the question and ask 'Are you asking ....?'
If you give an answer the interviewer appears not to like, try not to do a hugely obvious U turn.Blatant backtracking may come across as a sign of weakness. Instead, try to readdress the issue with an opener such as 'Another way of looking at it...' to show that you are a versatile candidate and can look at an issue from a variety of perspectives.
If the interviewer asks you about a skill in which you are not confident, take it as an opportunity to bring to light a range of other skills you possess. Think about how the skill they are asking you about links in to the job in question, and attempt to show how you are able to use your wider skill set to fulfil this criteria.
You may find yourself cracking a joke when feeling awkward in an interview situation. What may make the situation even more awkward is if this joke falls flat.In this situation, it is important not to dwell on the joke. Interviewers will understand you may be a bit jittery (do not forget they were once in your shoes!) and so do not waste valuable interview time trying to prove why your joke is funny. This time is better spent impressing them by talking about your wealth of experience or your passion for the job.
Pressurised situations are often the moments that our inner klutzes come out in full force. The best way to overcome these is to showcase your sense of humour by trying to laugh them off as quickly as possible and not throw yourself completely off focus. If you spill something or knock something over offer to clear it up, but do not make a massive deal over it or your little slip up will speak louder than the answers you give in the interview. If your interview is interrupted by your inner klutz, show your focus by reopening the conversation with a statement such as 'I thought what you said earlier about [insert relevant comment] was really interesting...' as an indicator that you are able to stay focused and not be thrown off by life's little slip ups.
Remember there is no such thing as the perfect interview, so do not come down too hard on yourself if it does not run totally smoothly. If you have a history of getting flustered in interviews, recruit friends, family and colleagues to do as many practice interviews as possible so that you can have a trial run of interview damage control tactics. Mona, GRB Journalist