Dealing With Weird Situations
You apply to a number of jobs and you will definitely get calls for interviews. The interview call takes the usual preparation as to why you are applying for this job. It also looks at the fit of the job to your career goals and vice-versa, your expectations, your ability to contribute and so on. You are ready to put your best foot forward. What happens when the interview you are appearing does not go the way you had expected it to go? What happens when the interview gets weird? How do you manage the situation and still come up as a winner?
Let us look at a few typical weird situations that people can come across during interviews. Of course, these are only samples ? there are many more possibilities that are not covered here, but hopefully the models discussed here would prepare you for any eventuality in the future.
1.The person(s) who interview you is/are very gruff to the point of rudeness ? this is one of the most common situations one encounters during interviews. Quite often ? and we have a good example in the ?American Idol? with Simon ? people take pleasure in speaking out their minds in no uncertain terms ? even if such words can be devastatingly rude. If and when you are faced with rudeness in an interview, deal with it in a professional manner. Never, ever loose your temper and answer back or behave rudely.
Consider the annoying person to be a very important client and your endeavor to pacifying him/her a very crucial task for the company. In this perspective, it will be easier for you to act objectively and professionally.
2.The person(s) who are supposed to interview you are wasting their time talking with each other or on the phone. You wait a reasonable period of time ? say about 10 minutes ? and if the person(s) is/are still not initiating the interview, ask whether they would prefer that you came some other time. Again, you will need to be polite and professional in your approach. Do not show impatience, do not pass rude comments, do not show open displeasure to his/her/their behavior. This could be a test as well ? you never know.
3.The person(s) use abusive language among themselves or about colleagues ? sidestep the issue and do not get involved in such discussions. Keep to your line of discussion, absolutely avoiding to be drawn into agreeing or disagreeing to such behavior. You should be able to complete the interview and then enquire whether the overall atmosphere of the organization is such as presented to you during the interview. If so, this might not be the right place for you to work in.
4.The interviewer(s) make it a point to unnerve you. They comment rudely on your replies and ask questions that do not directly pertain to the job. Answer politely and to the point. Do not rise to bait of ''cutting him/her off'' with a rude remark or comment of your own. It is very important for you to be careful here. As I mentioned earlier, building stress at the interview might be a way of gauging your reaction in your job. Hence, you will need to keep your cool and answer to the point, ignoring the hurtful barbs and concentrating upon the actual focus of the discussion.
5.The interviewer is obviously under the influence of alcohol and talks pure nonsense. Excuse yourself politely from the interview and leave the room at the earliest possible. Contact any other person available there, such as the receptionist, secretary, guard, etc. and inform them that the person you went to meet was not disposed to interview and that if it was possible you would call for another interview at a later date. Most often than not, you will get a sympathetic shoulder and a good redirection of the interview call. You might then contact this person for another interview ? if you are still interested to work in the organization.
6.You are half way through the interview and it is going good, when you realize that you are being interviewed for another position ? very different from what you have applied for, and not one you would be happy to accept. What should you do? The best is to inform the interviewer as soon as you realize about the oversight and put the records straight. Apologize for the inconvenience, if any ? and inform them that there has been a mix-up. Excuse yourself from the interview at the earliest possible so you do not waste their time or yours any longer.
7.The interviewer(s) talks about the company and about themselves without giving you any scope for discussion. Grin and bear it. If they need any information from you they will ask for it ? if they do not need it, that it fine. Listen to what they say and give your comments or opinion only when asked for it. Do not enter into arguments or any topic they put across, without specifically invited to do so. Keep in mind that this is an interview and not your friends squabbling over a topic. Maintain a professional demeanor and only answer, comment or give your opinion when invited/asked to do so.
8.The interviewer asks you personal questions that you are not comfortable to discuss. Say, like ?Are you planning to marry in the near future?? or ?Are you planning to have children this year?? and the like.
You can politely answer that the professional and personal lives are two different worlds ? and one need not infringe upon the other. You may also like to add that your personal life would not affect your professional life and hence, request that it not be discussed.
You might like to enquire how such a personal question(s) fit into the overall agenda of the job ? so you could answer in the same perspective. It is important here that you should not feel intimidated and should be able to separate the personal from professional areas. Be firm and polite at the same time and you will definitely pass in this test as well.