What to do in Awkward Interview Moments

An interview is a very important event for an aspiring professional who hopes to secure a steady career. It is a deciding moment for the job seeker as he/she tries to impress the panel of interviewers to clinch the position. However, despite the tremendous efforts put into the preparations for a successful interview, the session can turn awkward especially if it is a one-on-one interview when both parties are at a loss for words or experience some deadlock in discussion.

What constitutes awkward moments?

It is normal to feel nervous about the interview but there may be certain awkward moments in an interview that may cost the job applicant the golden opportunity to clinch the dream job if the situation is not well-handled. The interviewee may have butterflies in their stomach to think fast for the best answers to the interviewer’s questions. Taking too long to answer the questions posed can create awkward silences that may get the interviewers agitated or impatient with the interviewee.

If the interviewee responds in an unexpected manner, an awkward moment may emerge during the interview. The interviewers may feel embarrassed or confused with the given response to move on with the session professionally. A poorly formed answer that does not satisfy the question requirement may be awkward to the interviewee if the interviewers are not able to digest or comprehend the given answer unless the interviewee is quick to rectify the situation with clear examples or rewording of their answer.

Another awkward moment during an interview could be when the interviewee attempts to throw a lighthearted remark or joke to ease the tension in the room to no avail. He/she could end up being the only party laughing in the company. The interviewee should quickly gain a better composure and pick up the right thread of discussion to bypass that awkward moment. It is possible that the interviewer may make a funny comment which the interviewee does not share its flow and not laugh with the interviewer. A smile should be attempted by the interviewee as a courteous reaction while avoiding a request to repeat the joke.

The “do not talk about these in an interview” list

Many professional interviewers would keep the interview sessions formal and proper with the right topics on the agenda to avoid awkward situations. Hence, it is standard interviewing techniques to avoid racial remarks, religion or embarrassing situations which the interviewee is asked to comment or elaborate.

These interviewers must be well trained to handle every interview professionally without embarrassing the interviewee. However, certain interviewees may shoot their own toes with a quick blurt of off-topic questions during the interview. It is unprofessional for the interviewee to turn the table around and ask too many questions or query the way the interview is being conducted.

Personal information should not be solicited from the interviewers by the interviewees no matter how at ease the parties have become. An interview must always be conducted in a formal environment although both parties can be at ease and pleasant to each other.

Good interview tips to avoid awkward moments

1. Be well prepared for the interview

A job applicant who is well prepared for the interview would have done sufficient research on the company to identify the necessary basic information about the hiring firm without asking the interviewers. This would avoid awkward moments from arising with interviewers wasting their time answering frivolous questions.

2. Speak well

An interview is a crucial deciding factor on hiring the job applicant. If the interviewee does not speak well to be comprehensible, chances of hire would be very low. Awkward moments arise when the interviewee exhibits a poor comprehension of the questions posed by the interviewer or when poor grammar and sentences are constructed in the conversation.

3. Think before speaking

The wrong choice of words no matter how light the issue is could create an embarrassing moment for either party. Clichéd responses are frequent and common but an abrupt answer without clear thoughts to any question posed can put unfavorable thoughts in the interviewer’s minds.

4. Professional etiquette

It is never professional to generate any unfavorable puns or insults directly or indirectly to the interviewers. Awkward moments happen when the interviewee is not able to salvage the situation. A poor joke can backfire with grave consequences. The best of etiquette at an interview must always be practiced to avoid a reduced opportunity in clinching the job interviewed for. This refers also to the ringing of phones during an interview which is deemed unacceptable by professional interviewers no matter how important the call may be.

Tags: ,