Common Interview Goof-Ups And How To Overcome Them

Being mortified or nervous and falling in an embarrassing situation or two like spilling tea/coffee, tripping over and falling flat or saying something offensive without implying, is all a normal likely happening during an interview.

Woah! You have bagged that interview in a big corporate house and you feel you are perfect for the role!

Confident that you will come out of the interview room with flying colours?


Whether you have been preparing the answers to the common interview questions or have customized your resume according to the job you have applied for and planned your schedule according to the interview timings and created an attractive portfolio to have that extra edge in your interview session, you are likely to make these goof-ups during the interview!

Getting confused with the location or time or date of the interview


You have been handling a lot of work pressure at your current job and though you are pretty excited and interested for this new and better job prospect, you have not been able to check your mail for an update on your interview date, timings, place, etc., or maybe you just missed this important call from the company HR where you have been asked to meet up for an interview and did not get the chance or the time to call back.

The recruiter or the HR might have just sent you a mail regarding the change in interview timings just a couple of hours or a day before the interview and you did not check the mail either due to your excitement or because you were busy planning your itinerary for the interview day or maybe due to paucity of time.

How to Overcome: Before it gets late, call your recruiter or the HR personnel and explain the situation most gently, yet with some poignant humour. Emphasize that you are really keen on working with the company and/or meeting the interviewers. Apologize. If the recruiter has sent the change in interview details a couple of hours before the interview, you are still safe and may not be held guilty for showing up late. Even if the managerial procedures of the company do not seem to be in tune with your professional attributes, do not make a show of it if you want to keep your chances at the interview and the possible job.

Your composure will help you gain a lot in the corporate world.


Your Dress Code is Way Too Casual


Sometimes you may think or find out through research that the company might be favouring or is okay with semi-formals or casual attires but when you visit the company for your interview and see other candidates in proper suits, you realize you have made a goof-up.

How to Overcome: Well, if you see some eyes gauging at you, you should let your recruiter know that you had an idea that the workplace has more of a casual work environment and are hence dressed so, and apologize saying that you are embarrassed to appear underdressed for the situation.


Did you just call your boss by a wrong similar name?


Shit happens. Consider this. You happened to call your interviewer by a similar sounding name that is wrong or called him/her by the name of your previous interviewer in another company. S/he may be a foreigner or have a typically unusual name, which you were not very clear about at the first place.

How to Overcome: Just apologize and ask for the correct name if you are not very clear about the pronunciation or the spelling of the name. If, however, you pronounced the name wrong throughout the interview and did not realize until the interview was over, you might just drop a mail thanking the recruiter for the interview opportunity while at the same time, apologizing for wrongly pronouncing his/her name or addressing him/her by a completely different name than the original. You can also save your ass by saying that you have a good friend or a cousin with that name and hence, you got confused and if not for the interview, you are pretty sorted on such details.

You could also say that you have been meeting quite a few people lately and hence got mixed up with the name.


A Slip of the Tongue or a Common Word Misspelled/Mispronounced


You are lucky if you realize that you are about to make a slip of the tongue just before the goof-up, however this is not the case always.

How to Overcome: Just using another word or pronouncing the word correctly the second time would be our best bet. You can also laugh off your mistake by jesting, “Did I just say this?” Your recruiter will rather take it on a good note that you can laugh at your mistakes and learn from them.


When You Start Fumbling on Answers or Ramble a Lot Showing Your Nervousness


Deep down you had the feeling that this answer would not go right and yet you went on with it to say something irrelevant and botched up the whole thing. Even if people might think that this is the end to your chances of bagging the ‘dream job’, well, it isn’t.

How to Overcome: Remember the question, the answer to which you botched up till the very end of the interview session and as soon as you sport the rest of the questions, revisit the question and say that you understand you had not given your best shot when you were asked that question. Also ask if you can explain your thoughts on that matter clearly again.

You can also prevent the mishap of answering wrongly in the interview by asking for a minute or two to collect your thoughts and if at all you are perturbed due to a personal loss or crisis situation, you can clearly elaborate on that to the recruiter, also asking if you could reschedule your interview and another date, if that is possible and convenient for the recruiter as well.

Being mortified or nervous and falling in an embarrassing situation or two like spilling tea/coffee, tripping over and falling flat or saying something offensive without implying, is all a normal likely happening during an interview. There is nothing wrong in being nervous and don’t fret if you happen to show how nervous you are. Taking deep breaths, collecting and composing yourself before the interview and reassuring yourself that this is not the end will calm you down while you can ask for some water.

Also, think about why you want a job with this company and try to focus on the reasons while you are still waiting for your recruiter to approach you. Discussing on some recent challenges or projects that the company undertook could steer your way clear and will put you in a realm where you will appear updated and interested to the recruiters and thus will be an edge over the others.

Also, apologize but do not keep belabouring on the same point time and again. This will not let the recruiter forget rough patches in the interview.

All The Best!

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