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How to Save an Interview Gone Wrong

How to Save an Interview Gone Wrong

Steve Berman | MonsterCollege

May 10, 2010

Sticky Situation No. 2: The Devil’s Advocate

No matter what, you and the person on the other side of the interview table aren’t going to agree on everything. Hopefully you won’t find much resistance to any of the answers you give during your interview, but you should prepare for scenarios where the two of you don’t see eye-to-eye. After all, some interviewers argue with candidates just to test how they’ll react under scrutiny. Still, a disagreement can be very unnerving, making you wonder if you just lost your chance at landing the job.

Solution: Find Common Ground

You don’t want to position yourself as someone who’ll change their opinion based on who they’re trying to impress, but you do want the interviewer to feel comfortable. Don’t get defensive or combative — try to smooth over disagreements with statements like, “I can understand that point of view,” or “You know, I never thought about it that way.” Then, even if you didn’t give the perfect answer, you’ll look flexible. That’s a better idea than changing your answer entirely, as that will lead the interviewer to think you’re just saying what they want to hear.

Sticky Situation No. 3: No Chemistry

You want the job. You spent days preparing for the interview. So why does it seem like your interview has all the excitement and energy of a bunch of turtles running a marathon? No matter what you say or do, the interviewer is yawning, looking at his watch, and pretty much doing anything besides showing you the attention you deserve. Since you can’t exactly suggest that they take five minutes to drink a cup of highly caffeinated coffee, how do you make sure you don’t put this person who has your future career in his hands to sleep?

Solution: Involve the Interviewer

You might be the one getting interviewed, but everyone likes to talk about themselves. If you sense a lull in the questioning, ask your own open-ended questions. See what the employer is looking for in an employee. Ask what they like about working for the company (and if they have a hard time answering this question, you might want to take that into consideration).

Next: Calm Frazzled Interview Nerves >>