When it doesn’t go according to plan on the day of your job interview…

This week we’re going to briefly discuss a few ways that you can deal with some unforeseen situations that might arise before or during a job interview.

First of all, congratulations on getting an interview! However the hardest part is yet to come.

For any interview you should dress appropriately, show up on time, know the name of the person(s) that will interview you, read about the company and the role they offer, prepare questions, know some answers to questions that might be asked to you, and then you sit down and you smash it!

Unfortunately not everything always goes according to plan…

There are many things that can go wrong before and after a job interview and in this blog I focus on just a few. Don’t stress out about all the things that might could go wrong but taking away a few stressful aspects help a lot. Just remember that preparation brings you already halfway.
A first example is that you might get stuck in traffic. The first thing here is that you should ALWAYS leave earlier to a job interview. Don’t calculate your time of arrival being the starting time of the interview. I usually calculate being half an hour early so you can explore the area, find the building, go over some notes, take a toilet visit, etc. Even then you might be running late because of trains being massively delayed, terrible traffic jam, or whatever reason. So it’s not necessarily your fault, but showing up late might be a deal breaker before you can even say a word. Don’t hesitate to call the company to inform them about being late ahead of time. They will appreciate that you gave them notice so they won’t be stuck sitting around waiting. You might even make it just in time and you’ll still come across as someone who is proactive and willing to admit their mistakes.

When it comes to the interview itself, the employer might ask you a question you don’t understand. Avoid saying things like “huh?” or “I don’t know” or saying nothing at all. It’s okay to ask for clarification if you don’t understand the question. Especially when coming from abroad, don’t panic when a question is unclear. They probably reword the question in a way you will understand.

What about not knowing the answer to a question? First of all, remember that a job interview is, besides a first introduction to one another, a test. They might ask you questions that don’t have an appropriate answer. So, are you going to make something up? Sit there in silence? Or admit you don’t know the answer? Whatever you do, don’t black-out!  It’s not about answering the question, but about how you handle the situation.
If you don’t know an answer, a good response might be to explain how you would find the answer if you were given the job. Or you could ask your interviewer who the appropriate person to ask would be if you did have the job.

It’s okay to tell the interviewer you need a moment to think about the question. Don’t stress, keep breathing, contemplate the question and try to understand why they asked the question and how they want you to handle the situation.

And remember once again that a job interview is a first impression and a test.

If you need any more advice or tips, you know where to find us. Good luck!