Ever have an awkward moment when interviewing or job hunting? You’re definitely not alone. These awkward moments can be self-induced or created by others such as interviewers or recruiters. But how you handle these moments can mean the difference between getting the job or having the process come to a screaming halt.
Awkward moments during an interview can certainly shake your confidence. You may be caught off-guard by a question, drawn a blank or have your phone suddenly ring. Is your interviewer not paying attention or is there suddenly an awkward pause? So how do you respond? Stay calm, take a moment to recompose and move on. If appropriate, offer an apology but don’t dwell on the moment. Your reaction to this unexpected moment is what gets noticed and says a lot about you as a candidate. In the article Your interviewer looks bored…Now what? How to handle 5 awkward interview situations, Sequoia Taylor provides recommendations on to react to several of these scenarios.
There are also two other articles on addressing these moments and mistakes that I thought provide some valuable insight. The first, 7 Horribly Awkward Interview Mistakes—and How to Bounce Back From Them by Alyse Kalish, addresses several of the most common awkward moments and mistakes and how to react to them. The second, Job Interview Tips: How to Survive 10 Awkward Situations by Alison Green, provides guidance on navigating awkward conversations you may encounter with an interviewer.
While the articles above give advice on how you can respond to awkward moments, what about the person on the other side of the table? What are they looking for? In the article 10 Awkward Interview Moments: What You Can Learn About Your Candidates Kim Castro examines the reactions interviewers look for during these awkward moments. It addresses items such as silence, eye contact, handshakes and attire. It’s an interesting article that gives you insight into how interviewers analyze these moments and what reactions they look for.
Hopefully these articles will prepare you to handle any awkward moments that you may encounter. Mistakes and awkward moments will happen but they don’t have to ruin your confidence or the opportunity in front of you.