Tips for When the Interview Isn’t Going According to Plan

We all know that interviews can be nerve wracking. Not even the most seasoned professional steps into an interview without some anxiety. If you make a mistake and become nervous or you notice that the interviewer seems disengaged, be sure to relax! These situations happen to the very best of us and are nothing to stress out over. Here are a few tips for how to bring the interview back on your side when things may not be going according to plan.

-If your nerves start to kick in, take a second to take a deep breath, regroup, and remind yourself of the basics. Make sure you’re sitting up straight and comfortably, making good eye contact, and take your time to speak clearly. Even if the interviewer may have noticed initial nervousness they will write it off as natural anxiety once you get comfortable.

-If the interviewer seems to be losing interest, engaging them by asking questions can be a great way to establish more of a dialogue. If there’s a long pause in the conversation after you answer a question, you can follow up your answer by asking them something related to the previous question such as “how do members of your team manage their time effectively?” Or, you can take the initiative to ask them a bit about themselves and their role in the organization.

-If you find yourself tripping over your words, using too many ‘um’s’ or ‘y’know’s’ don’t let it throw you off! People say filler words to give themselves time to think, so if you catch yourself about to use one, give yourself a moment of silence instead. Effectively using pauses in a conversation can be very excellent way of emphasizing a point.

– If think you messed up an answer, it’s not the end of the world! You can even go back after answering and ask something like, “do you mind if I repeat that differently?” or, “let me phrase it this way…” Because interviewers are often interested in seeing how you handle pressure, when you bring in a smooth recovery the interviewer is much more likely to remember how well you came back from the mistake than the slip up itself.

-Lastly, no matter how the interview goes though, always make sure to send a follow up thank you note. Those gestures are always appreciated, and they set you apart as well as help them remember you positively.

Ultimately, no matter whether you think the interview is going spectacularly or less than ideal, preparation is key! If you spend enough time preparing for an interview and doing your research, you can walk in confident of your material and can fall back on your preparation no matter what happens. If you do your research, practice well, and follow these tips, you will be landing your dream job in no time.