Here’s the situation. You’re sitting on your chair, feeling utterly and completely defeated. The interviewer sits across, his arms akimbo and gives you a gaze that clearly says 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.
Have you ever found yourself in such a situation during a job interview? Well, it is entirely understandable that you would start getting nervous or agitated, especially in this time of dwindling job vacancies and career opportunities. At a certain point in a job interview, maybe the interviewer lost you and even zoned out while you are busy rambling about your experience. Some tell-tale signs that interviewers might be bored 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 bad news – it means that they have ascertained that whatever you have delivered so far, in response to the interview questions, are not a good fit to what they are looking for. In such a case, the best thing you can do is stop and take a breath. Smile and re-engage the interviewers again, so both of you can get back on track. Here are a few interview tips that will help you recover quickly and snatch the attention back.
Ask relevant questions:
One good way to re-engage interviewers is to ask them relevant questions about the position offered or the company. Ask them how the company culture looks, or how it feels to work there. By doing so, you will re-emphasize your interest in the company and also prompt the interviewers to give you more information that you can use to demonstrate your suitability with the company.
Change the topic:
Stop whatever you’re currently talking about, then change to another subject and keep your new story short. If it is evident that what you are talking about is boring, switching to something else might work in capturing the interviewers back. Bear in mind not to get lost in another long narrative, though – try to be as concise as possible, and ask for their input as much as you can.
Take a short break to recover:
The worst thing you could possibly do is freaking out and 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 work, 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 the potential employer. Demonstrate your interest in the job strongly by displaying knowledge in the related areas, or by matching the skills you have to the skills that are required for the job. Do not expect the interviewers 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 steps above, you will be able to take the reins and steer the interview back to a more positive direction that would increase your chances of getting hired.