How to Nail the Job When the Interviewer is Not on HIs Game

John Krautzel
Posted by

Job interviews can be unpredictable. No matter how much time and energy you spend preparing for the interview, you may be faced with an interviewer who is tired, unfocused, rude or just off his game. Here's how not to let a bad interviewer affect your chances of getting the job.


It can be difficult to stay focused during an interview if the interviewer is dealing with constant distractions, such as phone calls or unexpected visitors. You can use these distractions to your advantage. Every time the interview is interrupted, take a few deep breaths and try to focus and mentally elaborate on the subject. Once the interruption is over, you'll have a great answer ready for the interviewer.


It's usually easy to tell if hiring manager is rushing through the interview. Watching the clock, cutting off your answers and giving clipped, cold responses are all indicators that the interviewer is short on time. If you experience this, it most likely means the employer has already selected a candidate and your interview is just a formality. Still, keep your composure and continue to make good eye contact. Leaving a good impression on the interviewer is still a great way to open the door to other possible opportunities within the organization.


You may come across a hiring manager who seems overly critical or even downright rude during the interview. Sometimes, employers adopt a more aggressive approach to the interview to weed out candidates who are too sensitive or timid. It's important that you meet an aggressive interviewer with calm professionalism and wit; responding with anger or emotion can cause them to disqualify you from the running. Focus on emphasizing your relevant skills and keeping a positive attitude throughout the interview.


You may run into the unfortunate challenge of being interviewed by someone who is unqualified or unprepared, and it's easy to let the interviewer's frazzled nerves affect the way you perform during the interview. To prevent this, do your homework prior to your appointment: make note of the company's core values, job description and current news. This kind of information helps you come up with interesting things to discuss, in case the interviewer comes up short. Bring a notepad with a list of thoughtful questions to ask to keep the interview on track, as well as extra copies of your resume.

It can be a challenge to remain cool and composed when your interviewer is distracted, frazzled or rude, but it can be done. Don't let a bad interviewer derail your performance. Use these tips to help control the conversation and highlight your most important skills and attributes. The success of the interview depends on your ability to adapt to this uniquely challenging situation.

Photo courtesy of workwithseven at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch