Every job candidate’s worst nightmare is having a terrible job interview. A lot of job seekers know right from the interview that they may likely not get the job. The interview process is said not to be just about how well you respond to questions, it also about how you regain traction after challenges.
Maybe things are going south because the interviewer is asking really tough questions to see how you perform under pressure, or, perhaps you are having trouble articulating your thoughts, or there is just no chemistry between you and the hiring manager, Business Insider provides job seekers with tips for getting your job interview back on track:
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Don’t be too hard on yourself
The interview process is no doubt a challenging one for a lot of people, as it seems they are occupying a hot sit. It is easy to be self-critical during this period but you will have to take it easy on yourself. Chances are you are over-thinking it and you are actually doing just fine. And even if your game feels a little off, remember that most savvy interviewers take into consideration the fact that interviews can be challenging and nerve-wracking for even the most qualified, confident professionals.
Take a deep breath, smile
In your zeal to make a good impression or take back the interview, you might fall prey to the chatterbox zone. Take a deep breath, smile, and pause as needed so you can better collect your thoughts before you answer the next question. Remember that sometimes less is more.
Rephrase or explain
This is a two-way exchange. If you misspoke or want to elaborate to better refine your answer, do it. You have the opportunity to create segues and add depth to a prior answer. For instance, even though the interviewer has moved onto the next question, you are entitled to say, If I may, I had like to clarify something on that last question …Pause, and then give your input.
It is helpful to watch for body language, such as a nod, to guide you. If the hiring manager seems to be listening attentively, you have the green light to elaborate even further, but be careful not to dig an even deeper hole.
Don’t rush to judgment
Interviewers are also under pressure. They are tasked with hiring the right person, which can be daunting. It is easy to make quick judgments about the situation, such as, ‘He looks annoyed, I probably answered that poorly.’ But in reality, you don’t really know what’s on their desk; they may have a tight deadline or something unexpected to deal with, so try to assume the best and let it play out.
Increase your laser-focus on the questions you are given. If you feel you have drifted during the interview, make a concerted effort to listen more closely. If you fail to listen, or you are so much in a haste to answer, there may be misinformation, as you did not strategise too early on your response.
One of the best approaches in any interview, especially the backbreaker variety, is to maintain a pleasant smile, no matter what comes your way.
First, it will help relax both you and the interviewer. Second, it conveys a confident persona – which will help you give you a greater sense of power.
Stay positive and energetic
The absolute worst thing you can do is let the interviewer know you are upset about how things are going. The change in attitude could end up being the thing that makes the interview go downhill.
Put your mindset into an assumption that you have already passed the interview, despite any setbacks. By envisioning this, you will help fulfill a positive outcome. Keep your energy up, even if things are, or seem to be, looking down.
If you don’t understand a question, ask your interviewer to clarify
If your interviewer looks confused, maybe you didn’t answer the question they were asking, ask for clarity. If you don’t, you risk looking like you are not on the same page or a poor listener.
An even better approach is to paraphrase the question yourself, rather than requesting that of the interviewer. For instance, you can say: “You are asking if I reported the results on those meetings … correct?”
If you don’t know the answer to an inquiry, don’t make one up. It is much safer to defend what you know. Your best bet is to say something like, ‘That’s a great question, and I will get back to you on that…’
Get the interviewer more engaged
If you are faced with disinterested or distracted interviewers, ask the hiring manager open-ended questions (versus “yes or no” ones). They can be a follow-up on their inquiry, or you can ask about what they enjoy most about their work or the company.
Once you get them to talk, they are more likely to stay involved. And if you have the gift of clever, well-timed humor, use it to ‘refresh’ the conversation and break tension barriers, but tread carefully, they recommend.