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Handling a Rude Interviewer

Tags:  Interview Skills, Rude interviewer

Okay, so you're going on a job interview. You know that the interviewer is going to be evaluating you based on your personal appearance, things like appropriate dress, posture, and demeanor, as well as your ability to respond to interview questions.


But what happens when the professional who is supposed to be conducting the interview turns out to be less than professional? Can you handle it?


You are going to be working with all kinds of people over the course of your career and it will be very important for you to be able to get along, even when it seems impossible. So whatever you may think of the person conducting the interview (hopefully it's not the person you'd be working for), keep your cool and follow these Guideposts:


1. Be prepared; discuss achievements, have success stories ready


The best way to get through an interview – good or bad – is to be prepared and don't panic. That means you need to review your own work background in advance of the meeting. Then once there, you should remain calm and take whatever time you need to provide information about your experience as well as your career accomplishments.


Don't get rattled. Answer each question as directly and succinctly as possible and leave it at that. Don't feel the need to fill up every moment with talking. Silence is golden.  


Be prepared to handle concerns by restating what you know is important to the company and/or interviewer, and restating how your experience can be a benefit. You cannot understate the value of being prepared!


2. Ignore rude remarks, shift subject to get back on track


Sometimes people make comments just to see what kind of reaction they will get. In a job interview, it's best to just pretend you never heard it. The wrong reaction may only encourage further rude behavior. Or, you may just find yourself in front of a really rude individual. 


Either way, stay focused on your response. Or if you have answered a question to the best of your ability and you feel the need to shift to another subject, now might be the time to ask the recruiter a question about the job or the company.

3. Thank interviewer, ask about next steps

Eventually the interview will come to an end. Instead of letting the interviewer just shuffle you out the door with a hearty wave and a comment like, ""We'll be in touch,"" make sure to ask how soon you should expect to receive further word about the position. Then thank the interviewer for his time.


Whatever the results, know that you handled the situation in a professional manner. And that's the best thing you can do.


For more information on this topic, see the companion Skills in Action video!

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