We all know how stressful interviews can be. We hope that you have had positive experiences throughout your own interview process; but that is not always the case. You may be faced with a difficult or rude interviewer, and not have any idea how to handle the challenging situation. So, today, we want to discuss a few things you can do to navigate a negative job interview.
Take a deep breath
It can be a challenge not to become defensive or get your guard up when faced with a hostile interviewer. However, if you take a moment and remain calm when answering the questions, you may find they change their tone. Remember to answer the question using the same approach you would in any other interview. Try to stay focused on what you can control in the situation, rather than what you cannot.
Watch your words
It may feel like the interviewer is attempting to bait you into saying something negative about a previous position or employer. Always remain positive, and do not let the tone of the interviewer impact what you say, especially about past experiences. This may also be a technique used by the interviewer as a test, and you do not want to say something that will negatively impact your chances at securing the job, or that you will regret when the interview is over.
Confidence is key
We know this can be challenging but remain confident. You made it to the interview, and you deserve the chance to sell yourself, despite the attitude of the person interviewing you. If you are interviewed by more than one person, focus on the people who are more positive. However, do not disregard the other, as you do not want to come across as a push over or someone who cannot stand up for themselves.
Address the situation
If you find that the tone of the interview is not changing, and the interviewer remains agitated, annoyed, or upset, you might want to consider asking what is wrong. You can approach this by simply questioning if you have done something, or if there is another pressing issue that is causing them to be acting this way.
You can also ask the interviewer a few questions related to them personally. This may help break the ice and change the direction of the interview.
Choose to leave
If you have done your utmost to stay positive, address their questions to the best of your ability, and are still faced with negative or hostile comments, it may be best to remove yourself from the interview. If you can speak with someone else, explore that option. However, if you feel like this person is not someone you would want to see every day, thank them for their time and explain you do not think this is a good fit. You will know best if this is, or is not, the job for you.
We certainly hope that you do not find yourself in this type of situation. However, if you do, we hope we have provided you with a few tools to help. If you need assistance preparing for an interview, we would be happy to help!