Interview warning signs

Interviews don’t always go as planned. Sometimes you can’t seem to put your best foot forward. Perhaps you’re nervous or the interviewer has other things on their mind. But, even if it’s not going to plan, there are ways to turn the experience to your advantage.

We asked recruitment consultancy Robert Half for some tips to get your interview back on track if you find yourself in any of these common situations:

  • The keeping you waiting interview. Your interviewer keeps you waiting for a long time.

    “Remain calm and to pass the time read the company magazine or brochures, so you can have relevant up-to-date conversation with your potential employer.” You could also sit and practice your answers to potential interview questions.
  • The sorry no time to read your CV interview. She/he hasn’t reviewed your CV.

    “Don’t be offended. Be ready and willing to offer as much information as possible, and to run the interviewer through your experience. The most important point is that you’ve been able to get in front of someone. It’s your opportunity to tell the interviewer about all of your achievements.”
  • The put down the staff interview. The interviewer speaks badly of the person you’re replacing or other staff.

“Take note mentally of the issues surrounding the person being spoken about and provide examples where you have behaved differently.” You may also want to ask some questions of your own about what a successful employee looks like and the company culture.

  • The I have no idea what the role is interview. You don’t understand the explanation of the role.

    “A good way to get around this is to ask what a typical day would look like and what the challenges for someone stepping into the position would be.”
  • The I’m so bored with what you’re telling me interview. The interviewer is distracted or looks bored.

“This isn’t uncommon. Ask the interviewer a question about themselves or the organisation such as ‘what is it about this organisation that keeps you here?’.” This can re-engage the interviewer very quickly.”

  • The tricky question interview. You are stumped by a question.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you’re unsure of a question that is being asked, or if you’re trying to buy yourself more time. However, don’t feel embarrassed to say you don’t know either.”

  • The you’re not listening to me interview. The interviewer is repeating questions that he or she believes you haven’t answered.

“Sometimes questions can be misinterpreted or the meaning may not be clear. If unsure, ask the interviewer ‘does this answer your question?’.”

Sometimes questions can be misinterpreted or the meaning may not be clear. If unsure, ask the interviewer ‘does this answer your question?
  • The let’s get it over and done with interview. The time is cut short.

“Take this opportunity to ask permission to send a follow up email. This opens up the dialogue between you and the potential employer and creates an opportunity to thank the interviewer for their time.”

Sometimes an interview that's not going well can save you from taking the wrong job.

If, however, in your heart of hearts, you want this role, follow up with an email covering everything you wanted to say in the interview but didn’t. The follow up letter is a very powerful job hunting technique.