For situations like interviews where every move you make. and every word you speak, is being evaluated in some way or another, a single mistake can ruin what was essentially a good interview.We are all human and it’s human nature to make mistakes, but a single error could be the difference between getting a job offer or getting shown the door.
It’s natural to forget
Forgetting an import word for something, whether it be the name of the project you’ve been previously working on for the last ten months, or the name of your highest selling stock, can be really embarrassing and may make you come across as not actually being who you say you are. It’s common for interview nerves to result in your brain going completely blank, even if it’s something you speak about daily.
It’s imperative that you don’t make something up, as your future employer may actually know all about it already, and just wants you to talk about. Getting caught lying is a sure way of making the interview last not much longer than your reply. Your best course of action is to work around the problem.
Focus on what’s important, for example:
“Apologies, I’m completely blanking on the name of that stock, but it’s something I’ve pushed for the last few months, and have increased its gross profit by 124%, allowing us to hit our fourth quarterly goals in record time“.
This side step will tell the interviewer the relevant information, and will hopefully distract them from your brief forgetfulness.
Swearing is an everyday occurrence for a lot of people, and in this day and age, not as frowned upon as it once was. However, regardless of what job you’re going for, it’s fairly obvious that swearing is a complete no-no in a job interview. Unfortunately, nerves and excitement can sometimes let one slip out. You certainly shouldn’t ignore it, as it will make the interviewer assume that you think that it was ok, but you unquestionably shouldn’t allow the interview to stop because of it.
Try and refocus on your achievements, and for the reason you swore, by saying something along the lines of:
“Sorry about that, I sometimes get a little excited talking about my last project due to how much ROI it achieved…”
9/10 times the person conducting the interview will understand.
A question catches you off-guard
It doesn’t matter if you prepare for your interview for weeks, there will always be that one question that you get asked that completely throws you off your train of thought. It’s also likely to be asked because the interviewer knows it’s difficult.
Don’t feel like you have to answer within a single blink of an eye, it’s perfectly acceptable to stall for a few seconds.
Saying something along the lines of: “Fantastic question – do you mind if a take a couple of seconds to think that through?“.
Interviews are not a timed test, and giving yourself a few extra seconds to compose yourself and to think of an appropriate answer will allow you to reply to the best of your ability.
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