How to Deal with Disruptions during an Interview
9 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Preparing for a Job Interview
If you're disrupted during a job interview, don't get thrown off-balance. After all, if disruptions fluster you during an interview, do you think the interviewer won't notice? Show how cool you are under pressure by rehearsing your reaction to interruptions and other disruptive moments should they occur during your meeting.
As you rehearse for your job interview, keep in mind that not everything that happens during the interview is related to you. Your meeting may be interrupted by:
A ringing telephone
The interviewer’s coworkers
The interviewer’s needs
Add some interference to your mock interviews. Because the show must go on, find methods to politely overlook these interruptions with patient concentration.
Practice keeping a tab on what you’re discussing between disruptions in case the interviewer doesn’t remember what was being discussed.
Silent treatment during an interview
Interviewers sometimes use silence strategically. Moments of silence are intended to get candidates to answer questions more fully — and even to get them to blurt out harmful information they had no intention of revealing.
Instead of concentrating on your discomfort during these silences, recognize the technique. Either wait out the silence until the interviewer speaks, or fill it with a well-chosen question that you have tucked up your sleeve. Don’t fall for the silent treatment ploy, panic, and spill information that doesn’t advance your cause.
You can use your own silence strategy to encourage the interviewer to elaborate or to show that you’re carefully considering issues under discussion.