Published on August 13, 2018
How to Handle Awkward Interview Moments
In this post
The hiring decision is never an easy one, and trying to prove you’re the best candidate for the position is a daunting task.
There are surprisingly many common interview mistakes that individuals unintentionally make, a job interview can be scary, but avoid creating awkward moments to avoid further make yourself nervous. But on a positive note, here is what they are, how to avoid them and ways in which you can avoid an awkward job interview.
The Most Common Job Interview Moments and Mistakes
You Bad-Mouth an Old Boss or Colleague
It is important to never bad mouth a previous employer or share negative experiences with the hiring manager. Even if your reasons for leaving may seem justified to you, it leaves a poor impression that can raise multiple questions for the interviewer. They may get the idea that you were part of the negative situation; this could potentially create a negative environment at the workplace or be difficult to work with. If you feel it is necessary to mention a negative situation involving an old boss throughout your career, refrain from fully detailing the event and end it on a positive note or learning outcome.
Swearing during your Interview Questions
It’s common for people during an interview to unintentionally let out a swear word, this can occur because of nerves, being jittery or simply making an embarrassing mistake. It is most likely your potential employer will not think well of it, however, remain calm, sincerely apologise and acknowledge that it is not standard behaviour and that you are only very nervous as you would love to be given the opportunity.
Your Mobile Phone Rings
Before even entering the interview room you should ensure your mobile phone is not just turned to silent, but that is turned off to prevent any noise. It is definitely a massive no to answer any phone call or message you receive, not only will this create an awkward job interview, but it is considered inappropriate and says to your employer that the message is more important than this job opportunity. If your phone does ring by accident, quickly apologise, turn it off, and get the conversation back on track.
Your body language in the interview room is a major indicator to a hiring manager of not only your attitude toward the job position but also your general attitude and behaviour in the workplace. By slouching, chewing gum, maintaining constant eye contact and having a sweaty handshake or sweaty palms will create awkward moments that can easily be avoided. Instead, sit all the way back in your seat and upright, use hand gestures, ensure your feet are firm on the ground and nod your head whilst listening.
An Awkward Silence
An awkward pause sometimes maybe a one-way feeling, this experience can happen after you’ve finished discussing a topic and an awkward silence may come. Silence is normal during an interview as it is good to let the hiring manager process the discussion or write down some notes. If you are getting worried about the silence, have an interesting question prepared about the job position or business for just such a moment to spark a new conversation.
A Wardrobe Malfunction
A wardrobe malfunction can happen at the worst time possible and create added stress to your important day. If the situation can’t be handled before you arrive, do not ignore the malfunction when you arrive, acknowledge the mistake and inform the potential employer that it is not normal behaviour to be as you are.
Being Late to the Interview
Arriving late to an interview is not a good sign for a potential employer, they are giving you their time of day to present yourself for the job opportunity and show you in a negative light. Make sure you arrive early to an interview, to figure out where you have to go and to give yourself time to mentally prepare yourself. If by chance you are late, clearly inform them ahead in advance and explain the circumstances.
The Most Common Job Interview Moments and Mistakes
Your job hunting will be challenging, there will be times when you walk out of an interview questioning why you made some silly mistake. You’re not the only one who makes these awkward interview moments and there will be many more to follow. But to stop yourself from making the most common ones consider taking a deep breath and relax, do some yoga, watch some TV, go over your LinkedIn multiple times or do any type of activity that relaxes you. Like anything, practice makes perfect, so ask someone to practise interviewing you to get prepared for the questions you’ll be asked using our interview templates.
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