Guest Blog: “How to Overcome These Awkward Job Interview Moments”

Our guest blogger, Stephen Perry, is a Senior-level IT Recruiter with TAL Group. Stephen brings 7+ years of experience in the field of IT & Mobile recruitment and has a diverse background in both agency and corporate settings.

Stephen has extensive experience in placing top professionals with Fortune 500 organizations, and is a multi-award winner and leader within the organization. 

The article below was originally published on Stephen Perry’s LinkedIn Pulse Account, and can be found here. 

How to Overcome These Awkward Job Interview Moments

So you make it to the interview. You have researched the company, the role, and are ready to nail the interview. Then nerves take over and you make an awkward moment.  Here are some tips to help overcome them.

The tips listed below were originally published by JobMob. That being said, I’ve paraphrased them based on my over 7+ years of recruitment experience and I hope they help you in your job search. If you are a senior-level executive looking for work in IT/Mobile, don’t hesitate to shoot job-related questions to me at

1) You arrive late

Running late, even by 5 minutes, is not acceptable for an interview. It gives a bad impression to the interviewer. Also it leaves you rushed and flustered and not at your best to present yourself.

How to avoid this?

Do a practice trip to see how long it takes. Don’t rely on a GPS or a map to tell you the commute time. Prepare yourself to arrive around 30 minutes earlier then your appointment, find a coffee shop to sit, relax and prepare yourself. Consider using this valuable time to review your resume or the job description. If it’s an early morning interview, also consider setting 2 wake-up alarms.

2) Bad handshake

You show up in a rush and you are sweaty or nervous, and you go and shake the interviewer’s hand before wiping your hands dry. That or you are still catching your breath and feeling a little shaky.

How to avoid this?

Carry a handkerchief in your pocket to wipe your hands before going into the office. Arrive early to catch your breath and calm yourself beforehand. Another industry trick is to use baby powder – if you rub a small bit of non-scent baby powder on your hands prior to leaving the house, you’ll find that by the time of arrival your sweat has gone away (or is heavily reduced).

3) Poor Eye contact

You start the interview with good eye contact but then comes a time that you find you are both staring at each other and it starts to feel a little awkward or your eyes start to water and you start to squint.

How to avoid this?

Remind yourself that your interviewer could be as uncomfortable as you and that the interview is a two-way street. If you feel your eyes about to water just blink and regain eye contact. Do not spend the entire interview looking at the walls, ceilings and the interviewer’s clothes but do not be afraid to look away either.

4) If answering a question incorrectly

You find yourself nervous and misheard the question, you begin to answer it but incorrectly but halfway through, and you realize your mistake but still carry on and ignore the issue.

How to avoid this?

Be honest. If halfway through the question you notice that you’re talking about something totally irrelevant, stop yourself, apologize and remind the interviewer what their question was and then begin to answer it accordingly. It will show them that you are confident to own up to mistakes and confidently turn it around.

5) Bad mouth previous employer

You’re asked why you left your recent employer and you go into detail about how bad the organization, the manager, the employees, or anything else in regards to them.

How to avoid this?

Make sure to prepare an appropriate response as to why you left your previous employer and ensure your answer do not reflect any negative comments regarding your previous boss, colleagues or company. If you do, by mistake, start to talk about something like this, apologize straight away, take a deep breath and wrap up your answer with added positivity.

6) Repeating yourself

You get stuck on a point answering a question and find yourself repeating the same thing in different ways as a result of being nervous.

How to avoid this?

Prepare yourself with the answers to a variety of interview questions and practice them beforehand this will make you feel more confident in your ability to be able to answer them in different way, you will more likely avoid the repetition.  Practice makes perfect.

7) Your phone rings

You are mid-way through answering a question or worse, the interviewer is talking and your phone rings. In today’s technological world, this is a VERY common mistake and one that people by now should be prepared for.

How to avoid this?

First off, turn off your phone before you enter into the building. Secondly, if the phone rings, apologize quickly, find your phone and turn it off ASAP. Don’t even look at the screen and especially DO NOT answer it! Apologize let them know that you were focused on the interview and forgot to turn your phone off.

Source: Job Mob

Want to be a guest blogger?

If you are familiar with the IT & Mobile landscape, we’d love to here from you! To discuss guest blogging opportunities, contact TAL Group’s Marketing Department

If you would like to discuss next steps in your career path, don’t hesitate to reach out. One of our recruitment experts would be happy to review your resume and discuss options, your expectations and professional goals.  Call us at (416) 599 1825 or e-mail us here



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