You’re sitting back in your chair, feeling utterly and completely defeated. Your interviewer sits across from you, his arms akimbo and giving you a gaze that clearly communicates that he is not impressed with your performance so far. The last ten minutes that have passed since the start of the interview felt like an hour long instead. Murphy’s Law has seemed to be the most applicable law of the day thus far.
Have you ever found yourself in such a situation during your job interview? [more…]It is entirely understandable that you would begin to get nervous or agitated, especially in this time of dwindling job vacancies and career opportunities. Fret not – here are a few interview tips that will help you to recover quickly and get the attention of your interviewer back:
“Keep Calm, Take a Deep Breath and Re-engage”
At a certain point in the job interview, maybe the interviewer lost you and began to zone out in the midst of your rambling. Some tell-tale signs include:
Fiddling with his/her iPhone or Blackberry;
Examining his/her fingernails or the surroundings;
Giving you a disapproving and uninterested stare;
Nodding vaguely but not giving you eye contact;
Not responding in appropriate fashion to your stories, or
Simply staring into space and not responding
This is certainly bad news – it means that he or she has ascertained that whatever you have delivered so far, in response to the interview questions, are not a good fit to what he or she is looking for. Stop yourself and take a breather. Smile, and re-engage your interviewer again, so you can get back on track.
Ask relevant questions: One good way to re-engage your interviewer is to ask him a relevant question about himself/herself or the company. Ask your interviewer how the company culture is like, or how it feels like to work there. By doing so, you will re-emphasize your interest in the company, and also prompt your interviewer to give you more information to use in demonstrating your suitability for the company.
Change the topic: Another way to re-engage your interviewer would be to stop what you’re currently talking about, change to another subject, and keep your new story short. If it is evident that what you are currently talking about is boring your interviewer, switching to something else might work in capturing your interviewer back. Bear in mind not to get lost in another long narrative, though – try to be as concise as possible, and ask for your interviewer’s input as much as you can.
Take a short break to recover: The worst thing you could possibly do, of course, is to completely freak out and start rambling and going off on wild tangents. If you’re getting a huge case of the jitters, you might even want to request for a brief toilet break – politely. This might or might not work, depending on the interviewer’s patience. If it does, head straight to the toilet and splash your face with cold water. Take long, slow breaths, and gather your thoughts again. Run through what you want to tell the interviewer in your head, and make sure you return looking and feeling more confident. It is far better to take a break and re-group than to push forward in a losing battle.
Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly – even if you are under or over qualified: If you chose to interview for a job that you are either under or over qualified for, you must have a very good reason for taking that chance. Make sure you prove it to your interviewer. Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly by displaying your knowledge in the related areas, or by matching the skills that you know you have to the skills that are required of the job for the benefit of the interviewer. Do not expect the interviewer to connect the dots for you – show that you mean business by taking the initiative.
In sum, never throw in the towel, even when all seems lost. By taking the above steps, you will be able to take the reins and steer the interview back to a more positive direction that would definitely increase your chances of getting hired.