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How to avoid an unlucky interview incident

Author: Emma Allison
Johanna Buguet U5 L8 Efy1 Rt4 Unsplash

We all know that nervous feeling before an interview. You’ve done your research, you’ve completed the presentation and you’ve rehearsed how to tackle the tough questions. You are ready…or so you thought!

Interviews can be daunting enough but what happens when you’re thrown a curve ball - how do you manage the situation and still remain in the running? It doesn’t have to be Friday the 13th for you to find yourself in an unlucky situation in an interview, read our guide on the potential pitfalls and how you can navigate them to come out the other side still smiling.

You get stuck in traffic

It can be traumatic at the best of times, but with the stress of an interview hanging over you, it can send you into a wild panic. Stay calm and use it as an opportunity to showcase your communication skills. If it’s likely to make you late, call ahead as soon as it’s safe and let them know that you’re en-route. Accidents on the roads happen, but an interviewer won’t thank you if they’ve stayed back after work to meet with you and you don’t let them know you might be late. Perhaps do a trial run to gauge the time and on the day of the interview, allow more than enough for the journey - it’s better to be early than late.

Great to meet you, Sarah… sorry Sandra

If you’re being interviewed, be sure to check the name of the interviewing panel. LinkedIn is a great tool to discover people's job titles and roles, but failing that, check your emails for confirmation of who’s who. It’s also a good idea to say their name as you greet them so it’s more likely to stick in your mind. If you forget anyone’s name mid-interview, don’t guess, take a pad and pen in with you with the interviewers name on and use this as a prompt when needed.

What did I want to ask?

Your mind will no doubt be overflowing with questions about the role, but on the day it can be hard to remember them. Jot them all down on your notepad so you can refer to it when they ask “Would you like to know anything?”, show how engaged and enthusiastic you are by asking questions. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the role, the company or even your suitability.

Computer says no

We love our technology. It makes life so much easier. But what happens if your trusty laptop fails you? The presentation you spent hours perfectly crafting won’t open. Preparation is key in this scenario. Email the presentation to yourself, or have it in the cloud so you can download it from anywhere should this happen. Print hard copies out as a back-up, and leave them for the interviewers so they can refer back to it. You’ll get top marks for being prepared and staying calm under pressure too!

Nerves get the better of you

It’s normal to be nervous before or during an interview, even the most senior people will find it an anxiety-inducing activity. You can remove some of the reasons you might get nervous by ensuring you’re fully prepared. The unknown is often the most scary thing about interviews, “What’s going to happen?”, “What are they going to ask?”, but if you know your stuff, you can be ready for anything. If you do find your mind goes blank mid-interview or you start to feel anxious, take a moment to refocus. Take a few deep breaths and give your mind chance to catch up. Remember, you’ve got this!

An interview doesn’t need to be daunting; it could be the first step to your dream job. If you do need support with how to prep for your next interview please get in touch with our team of experts. We’re on hand to offer you career advice, interview support and employment information to help you be the best in your space.

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